Experts called in to study
17/02/09 NST By Jaspal Singh
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Two independent consultants will study the structure of
three blocks of apartments in Kuala Terla which were evacuated last Friday,
after wide cracks appeared on one of the blocks.
The Cameron Highlands District Council has asked them to prepare reports
detailing the reasons behind the weakening of the structure and the level of
strength of the soil in the affected area.
Council president Datuk Mohd Noor Abdul Rani said the consultants, a
structural specialist and the other with expertise in the geotechnical
field, had been asked to submit reports to the local authority in two weeks'
"The council takes this matter seriously, especially in view of the many
hillside tragedies that have occurred elsewhere.
"We are taking immediate action to ascertain the factors that led to the
wide cracks on the apartment block."
Noor, also the district officer, said 22 of the 30 families who left the
block last Friday had been allowed back into their homes yesterday.
He said they were allowed to return after initial investigations by the
structural specialist on Sunday showed that only some units were unsafe for
Of the 32 units in Block A, which is the worst affected of the three
four-storey apartment blocks, only four were found to be unfit for
"However, the district council has taken precautions by declaring eight
units unsafe as these are situated where wide cracks appeared on the
"At the moment, eight families have been advised to put up elsewhere
temporarily until the consultants have completed their investigations."
He said the district council had decided at its meeting yesterday that it
would compensate the eight families by paying their rent for the duration
that they were unable to return to their homes.
Similarly, monetary compensation would be paid to the rest of the 22
families who had to put up in hotels and rented apartments between Friday
and Sunday, he added.
Noor said if the final findings by the consultants showed that Block A
needed major repairs to make it safe for living, then the district council
would hold a meeting with residents on the next course of action.
"But, if the findings show that the block is not safe at all, then the
matter will be brought to the attention of the Pahang government.
"The district council will then propose that temporary shelters be built to
house the affected residents."
Regional Environmental Awareness of Cameron Highlands president R.
Ramakrishnan has urged the district council to carry out studies at the
Puncak Arabella apartments in Tanah Rata.
He claimed that it was unsafe as the hillslope on which it was located was