Monday, September 26

Wall collapse forces occupants of seven houses to evacuate

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KUALA LUMPUR: The occupants of seven houses in Persiaran Bukit Setiawangsa here have been evacuated due to the danger posed by potential landslips after a concrete retaining wall in the area collapsed Friday night.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib said yesterday that as a precautionary measure, those staying close to the collapsed retaining wall were advised to move out quickly.

“We are facing a problem of landslips involving shophouses on the lower level and houses across the road. The occupants have been asked to move out,” he said when met by reporters at Persiaran Bukit Setiawangsa.

Earlier, Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Station assistant director (operations) Azizan Ismail said the occupants of three bungalows and traders at 13 double-storey shops had been ordered to move out after soil movement was detected in the area at 4am yesterday.

He said the road to Puncak Setiawangsa had to be closed to avoid untoward incidents which could be triggered by the movement of vehicles.

Ahmad Phesal said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the Civil Defence Department (JPAM), the police and other agencies would monitor the soil movement.

He said it was hoped that the weather would be fine because a downpour would worsen the situation in the area.

“At the same time, we are facing a problem of entry and exit at Puncak Setiawangsa. As such, DBKL has decided to build an alternative road,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal said the alternative route would only be used by the residents to move out while outsiders would be banned from using it.

“The affected residents will be assisted and moved to a hall nearby,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Public Works Institute of Malaysia spokesman said the hill was estimated to be 50 to 60 metres high while the cause of the collapse was still being investigated.

“We will install equipment to detect soil movement,” he said. — Bernama