Not So Hot - Additional 26,000 Landslide Hotspots In Malaysia

not so hot - additional 26,000 landslide hotspots in malaysiaPhoto: AsiaOne

Being safe from most natural disasters, Malaysia is generally a pretty safe (and lucky) nation.

One natural disaster we haven’t been able to avoid, however, are landslides. Based on findings from the US National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), it was discovered that our country encountered 171 landslides between 2007 and March 2016, making us the tenth country with the highest number of landslides.

The Star reported that an additional 26,000 landslide hotspots around the country have been added to the current 16,454. Unfortunately, it was not revealed where these new hotspots are. To assist with landslide prevention works, RM300 million will be put in.

The prevention works, conducted by the Works Ministry, will be done on slopes along 236 federal and 129 state roads this year, according to slope engineering branch director Zulkifly A. Ghani. Sure helps to know they are trying to make things a little safer for us!

“Among the measures being undertaken include evaluation, danger and risk mapping, and setting up of an early warning, real-time system for landslides. The prevention works also included fortifying high-risk slopes along federal roads. For slopes along federal reserve and state roads, monitoring is being carried out by the district JKR via the visual method, such as site visits and inspections,” said Zulkifly.

not so hot - additional 26,000 landslide hotspots in malaysiaPhoto: Malaysian Insight

The findings will be categorised according to a hazard score. 946 of the 16,454 slopes in Peninsular Malaysia were categorised as “very high hazard” while 1,551 others were “high hazard” based on the results data from 2010.

According to The Star, Zulkifly added, “The record has been updated this year, that is why we got the additional 26,000 new hotspots, which was identified using the latest technology of Light Detection and Ranging drones. Meanwhile, the Early Warning System (EWS) is being developed. The EWS is being developed using monitoring techniques such as rain gauge, robotic total stations as well as the Global Navigation Satellite System.

Slope movements will be monitored via the equipment and data will be sent to a server for analysis. If the data is detected to have reached a dangerous limit, an officer will receive a message via SMS. Further action will then be carried out by the said officer. There will also be a real-time warning limit put up on a website. Pretty useful, in our opinion. 

While only government agencies have access to the information and data at the moment, the public can check the status of slopes at A JKR officer said that the website is still under maintenance, however, and should only be accessible after five days.

Gotta wait to check it out, y’all!

By: Celestine Foo