Landslide: SAR operation enters fourth day


GEORGE TOWN – The search and rescue operation (SAR) for victims who are buried in the landslide at Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong near here continues today.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department director Saadon Moktar said today’s operation, which entered its fourth day, began at 8 am after it was suspended at 7 pm yesterday.

He said the operation focused on finding the 13th container house, believed to be buried in about 20 meter-deep earth, at  sector 2.

“The Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) conducted an inspection at 7 am (today) and found it safe to carry out SAR operations.

“The soil condition is stable and we hope for a fine weather for the rescuers to carry out the SAR operations today,” he said when contacted.

Saadon said JMG would also be monitoring the SAR operations  to ensure the situation remained safe for the rescue team, adding that the operation would be stopped immediately if it rained, not only in the landslide area, but also nearby hilly areas.

“If it rains, the SAR operation will be stopped as there will be overland flow of water that could enter the slope at the landslide and might cause earth movements,” he said.

He said about 100 rescuers from various departments and agencies were involved in the SAR operation today.

The incident which occurred at 1.56 pm Friday claimed the lives of seven foreign workers, four were injured and three others still missing are feared to be buried in the landslide that brought down containers and  ‘kongsi’ houses of the workers at the Bukit Kukus paired road project site.

Those killed in the landslide so far were two Indonesian men, four Bangladeshi men and a Myanmar woman.