SUBANG JAYA, Sept 19 – With the rainy season and coming monsoon period, it will not be surprising and indeed the country can anticipate to see more landslides and floods in sensitive areas where there have been indiscriminate developments and land clearing, says naturalist Andrew Sebastian.
“Landslides followed by floods and head water in some parts will become frequent and common come rainy season, and we see this as a trend because so far in the areas where these have happened, such as Kemensah Heights, Cameron Highlands and Simpang Pulai road, are all areas that have seen human intervention, development at one point or the other. What links them are the human activities.”
Commenting on the recent landslides in Kemensah Heights, Simpang Pulai and Cameron Highlands, Andrew said “that nothing else is left for us to do now except take heed and mitigate the loss of lives and properties. We need to keep protecting our hills, our forests against degradation.”
He said it was also an early wake-up call where mass projects like the ECRL, more housing and hill slope developments are going on.
“From Bukit Tinggi, Janda Baik and all the way up to Cameron Highlands and even in Bentong, we see more and more hills being developed. As an early warning, nothing good is going to come out of it. Floods and landslides will happen.
“What do we do to mitigate? We have to first protect. We need to enforce and keep all permanent forest reserves as permanent forest reserves. All areas with natural forest must be kept intact,” Sebastian said.
On Friday, a landslide in Jalan Kemensah Heights left massive damages to properties and caused the closure of the road. Illegally constructed buildings were cited as among factors for the incident. The incident is said to have taken place about 10 minutes drive from the upcoming Gombak ECRL station.
On Saturday a landslide took place on the Simpang Pulai road heading to Cameron Highlands that left motorists stranded as the road was closed following the incident.
Late last month several landslides and ensuing flood waters in the Gunung Jerai area in Kedah caused massive damages that left many with damaged houses.