6 Dec 2008

When the rains come

Its happened before and is happening again - killer landslides in the Ampang -Ulu Klang area. This one happened early this morning - about 3.30am I heard. When will we ever learn? Four people died in this recent landslide; 14 houses destroyed and a number of casualties. One of the people who died was my vet - yes the one who looks after our six cats! She's the most patient person I know and always caring about the well being of our cats, especially Apin. Its such a terrible waste of a life. And yet when we look at the history of landslides in our country - its a tragedy waiting to happen. After the terrible landslide of Highland Towers in 1993 where 48 people died, I wonder at anybody wanting to live anywhere near a hillslope. And this area - the BUkit Antarabangsa area is really a landslide prone area. The local council should have banned any further development of the slopes or even on top of the hills.
Malaysia is well known for its lackadaisical attitude towards the environment and I believe this is the outcome. Every time it happens, and small landslides occur every year at this time of year - all the big guns will come out to the site in their bush jackets and files; every year they will say no more development on hill slopes". And every year another landslide will occur. Only this time more lives have been sacrificed on the altar of development and greed. There is just no political will to make it stop. Trees are still being cut on hill slopes; forests disappear before our very eyes. Red earth flow downstream like tears on the craggy surface of mother earth. Most of us silently scream - when will this desecration stop? From my own highrise facing the Melawati Hills where once I see a sea of lush greenery, I now see cranes and skeletons of buildings newly built. The hills are no longer sacred. Developers are perennially greedy - I don't really blame them. The local council should not have approved any development on the hills. They should have reinforced the older developments or made sure the developers did. What happened in 1993 should have been a warning but it was ignored by everyone until another landslide occur and more families lose a child, a mother or a father.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

How sad these landslides are happening. Soil erosion does cause such a mess. I hope these are dealt with by having soil erosion control. That must be hard with the heavy rains.

God bless you for this post. We all should have an awareness for disasters like this.

Hugs, JJ

Kat said...

Thanks JJ for that comment. How I wish our govt realises that too. Developers do not really care for the environment. They just want the money but our local council should not approve their applications.