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Report: Pipe water leakage the cause of landslide
07/12/2009 The Star By LESTER KONG

PETALING JAYA: A poorly maintained and damaged drainage system resulted in the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide which killed five people on Dec 6, last year, according to the declassified Final Landslide Investigation Report.

Another factor contributing to the tragedy was the leaking water pipelines near some abandoned houses along Jalan Wangsa 11, a fact confirmed by Syabas during interviews by the investigating committee.

The 17-member investigation team also found that sumps at the junctions of Jalan Wangsa 5 and Jalan Wangsa 9 were broken, thus allowing high water infiltration into the ground.

Then and now: The scene at Taman Bukit Mewah in Bukit Antarabangsa soon after a landslide occurred last year and (below) the area as it is today – still undergoing rehabilitation work by the Road Works Department.
High water content resulted in “soil creep” or soil movement over the years which further damaged the pipes.

The most probable triggering factor of the landslide was due to the water leakage from the active water pipe along the abandoned houses that caused a build-up of high pore water pressure in the slope, the report said.

“The seismic survey carried out confirmed the existence of pockets of loose sandy material in the soil profile,” it said.

Earthquakes have been ruled out as a cause of the landslide at Taman Bukit Mewah, Bukit Antarabangsa in Hulu Klang that destroyed 14 bungalows.

“The seismic records show that there was no sign of earthquake motion on the day of the landslide and also a month before that. This eliminates earthquake as a probable cause of the failure,” the report said.

The report was compiled by the committee, led by Public Works Department slope engineering branch director Datuk Dr Ashaari Mohamad and included 16 other senior officers from 10 government agencies and consultants.

The 78-page report was leaked and published on a social publishing website two days before it was due to be released — tomorrow.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said the Cabinet had agreed to declassify the report following an application by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

The report was also based on interviews with 21 witnesses on the site’s history.

Hundreds of people around the affected area were also evacuated to temporary shelters before being allowed to go back to their homes.


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