Landslide close to Genting: 2 extra our bodies discovered, some Malaysian states droop tenting


KUALA LUMPUR — The search for campers still trapped after Friday’s landslide near Genting Highlands continued on Saturday morning, marking more than 24 hours since the disaster that killed 23 people.

Two more bodies — a woman and a boy — were found on the second day of the search, Selangor Fire and Rescue Agency director Norazam Khamis said Saturday afternoon, with at least ten others still missing.

“We’re already on day two and if they’re trapped underneath, they may not have oxygen,” he said, adding that some of the survivors were found at a depth of 1.5 to 3m underground. “Some of them were swept away by the ground movement and their hands and legs were dismembered.”

Datuk Norazam also complained about the muddy conditions. The search and rescue operation at Father’s Organic Farm was called off around midnight due to inclement weather, with 61 rescued by the Batang Kali facility, which authorities said did not have a camping license.

“We will call the operator and take follow-up action,” Hulu Selangor District Police Chief Suffian Abdullah said on Saturday.

Of those missing, a group of eight were from Alor Gajah, Melaka, according to State MP Ngwe Hee Sem.

Those found alive include three Singaporeans, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday morning.

“The Malaysian government is working quickly to ensure that all those affected by the tragedy receive immediate assistance,” the statement added.

Singapore resident Tee Yeow Keng, 37, his 37-year-old Singaporean wife and two children, a seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, were found unharmed after the deadly landslide failed to hit their tent at the campsite.

Mr Tee told the Straits Times that the family would now return to Kuala Lumpur before returning to Singapore a week later. It is not known if other Singaporeans were affected by the landslide.

Search and rescue operations resumed around 8.30am on Saturday with the help of excavators and seven canines.

Immediately after the tragedy, several states including Selangor, Pahang and Johor suspended camping and other recreational activities.

“All forest eco-parks, hiking trails and four-wheel drive routes in Johor’s permanent forest reserves will be closed to the public from December 17 until a date to be announced later,” the state forest service said on its Facebook page.

This is a precautionary measure during the ongoing monsoon at the end of the year.

The annual rainy season, which extends from November to February, has regularly caused deadly and damaging floods. The last fight killed 54 people nationwide and suffered RM6 billion (S$1.8 billion) in economic losses.

Over 700 employees from various government agencies were involved in the mission to rescue the 94 people registered at the campsite who were buried under 450,000 cubic meters of earth that fell from a height of 30 m to an area of ​​about 0.4 ha.