CAMERON HIGHLANDS – The body of a 13-year-old student was one of two more dead victims found at the scene of the flash flood and landslide in Cameron Highlands, bringing the number of fatalities to three.
The bodies of R. Punesh, a student of Sekolah Menengah Kampung Raja, here, and an Indonesian vegetable farm worker, Anipan, 48, were found at 8.45am and 9.20am, respectively.
Cameron Highlands district police chief, DSP Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu confirmed that to date, only three people were killed while five others were injured in the 6.30pm incident yesterday.
He said the body of the student was found by a security team and villagers about five kilometres from where he drowned in Sungai Telom, Kuala Terla, Kampung Raja, here.
Meanwhile, Anipan’s body was found buried under a metre of earth.
“The victim is believed to have failed in his attempt to escape from the landslide,” he said.
Wan Mohd Zahari said during the incident, Anipan’s wife, known as Tsunami, 41, managed to escape and was unhurt.
He said the landslide also buried the kongsi house occupied by Anipan and his wife.
According to him, the flash flood affected 203 people from 47 families in Kampung Baru and Lembah Bertam, with 20 houses and 20 vehicles damaged.
“The management of the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam had announced to the police about releasing water via Sungai Bertam when the water level reached 35.9 feet due to heavy rain.
“To avoid any untoward incident, the residents were evacuated to the community hall in Ringlet and the operation was completed at 8pm.
“At the moment, the situation is under control and the weather is fine,” he said.
Yesterday, a Nepalese vegetable farm worker, Md Yousuf Miya, 66, who also died in the incident, was found buried in Jalan Ulu Merah, Ringlet, at 8.30pm.
Wan Mohd Zahari said heavy rain over the area from 6pm to 7pm yesterday also resulted in the kongsi house shared by Md Yousuf and his friend Iswandi Nahrowi, 40, buried.
He said Yousuf’s body was successfully removed from the mound of earth while his friend suffered a broken leg.
The dead bodies and those injured were sent to Sultanah Hajah Kalsom Hospital in Tanah Rata.
The search and rescue operation involved the police (37), Fire and Rescue Department (15), Civil Defence Department (24), Rela (35), Drainage and Irrigation Department (two), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (eight), and Cameron Highlands District Council (12), and would he aided by soldiers from the Tapah Camp.
Last year, Ringlet Lake in Lembah Bertam, here, overflowed, causing a mud flood, killing four people and damaging more than 100 houses. – BERNAMA