Torrential rains trigger landslides

The weather proves deadly in three nations

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    The landslide claimed the lives of seven people when it struck the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. [AFP]

    Over the last few days, heavy rains across India and Southeast Asia have triggered deadly and destructive landslides.

    In a Malaysian village near Cameron Highlands hill resort, just north of Kuala Lumpur, landslides triggered by heavy rains killed seven people and buried three homes. Officials say that hundreds of rescuers using tracking dogs managed to find two survivors that had been partially buried. As a safety measure, dozens of families have now been evacuated from the area.

    This was Malaysia's second major landslide this year. In May, 15 boys and an adult were killed after a hillside collapsed on an orphanage.

    Another landslide struck the mountain village of Subic, in the Philippines, wiping out 100 houses. Luckily there were no fatalities in this community, partly due to the watchful eye of the local officials.

    The area was being carefully monitored after an earthquake struck earlier in the year. A crack near the mountaintop was exposed and is thought to have filled with rainwater, encouraging the landslide. Local officials forewarned the residents and encouraged them to evacuate.

    India too has seen the earth move. Monsoon rains, which are the life blood of the agricultural community, were blamed for several landslides that brought down power lines and blocked roads in an isolated region of Uttarakhand state in the north. Uttarkashi, which is just over 250 kilometres to the northwest of New Delhi, sits in the lower slopes of the Himalaya Mountains. Bulldozers have been put in place to remove the debris and clear the roads, but it could be days before transportation and power are restored.

    The monsoonal rain will continue across India until its withdrawal at the end of September.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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