KUANTAN – A Nepali farm worker and a boy dead while four others were injured in mud floods in Ringlet and Kuala Terla in Cameron Highlands last night.
Pahang Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Morni Mamat said the disaster in Ringlet also forced the evacuation of 150 residents from 37 families to a multi-purpose hall in the small town, located about 10 kilometres from Tanah Rata, the main town in the highlands .
“A local man and two Indian nationals were almost buried alive at a car workshop in Ringlet but were rescued in time and sent to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries which were serious.
“An Indonesian man was also injured in the Ringlet incident while a boy is reported missing (later found dead) in Kuala Terlah near Kampung Raja at the opposite end of the highlands,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
C. Munesh, 15, was found at a mud-covered farm at Batu 49 not far from where he was swept away by search and rescue personnel at about 8.45am Thursday.
A friend of the boy’s father, only known as Ramu, said Munesh had drove his father’s tractor to higher ground on Wednesday following the evening downpour.
“After getting the vehicle to another place, he tried to exit the tractor and to get to safety.
“The water level was about 3meters’ high when he slipped and was swept away,” he said.
Ramu said Munesh’s father had not told his son to move the tractor and he had so on his own.
“He was an obedient and filial son who was very helpful at his father’s farm.
“They have just moved back here from Negri Sembilan about a year ago,” he said, adding that Munesh was a student at SMK Kampung Raja.
A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman in Cameron Highlands said heavy rain since late this afternoon cause mudslides and the water level in Sungai Bertam in Ringlet to rise fast resulting in a mud flood at around 7pm.
“However, the area where a similar disaster took place last year has not been affected till now,” he said.
In Oct 24 last year, a controlled release of water from the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam following continuous heavy rain resulted in a massive mudflow downstream which claimed three lives and left nearly 100 houses destroyed.
Meanwhile, Cameron Higlands police chief DSP Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu identified the Nepali farm worker as Md Yousus Miya, 66, and the Indonesian as Iswandi Nahrowi, 40.
Wan Mohd Zahari said Md Yousus was buried alive in a mudslide in Jalan Ulu Merah in Ringlet at around 7.30pm.
“His body was recovered at 8.30pm,” he said.
He said that water from the dam was released in stages since this afternoon and residents were ordered to move to higher ground for their safety. – Bernama