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Malaysian landslide wipes out orphanage

Posted by on May. 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM
  • 2 Replies

At least 10 dead in Malaysia orphanage landslide


At least 10 dead in Malaysia orphanage landslide AFP – Emergency teams work at the site of a landslide that hit an orphanage in Hulu Langat. A landslide caused …

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A landslide caused by heavy rains hit an orphanage in Malaysia on Saturday, killing at least eight children and two caretakers, the official Bernama news agency said.

Six more children were missing, buried under the mud and rubble, while nine survivors, most of them children, had been rescued and taken to hospital, Bernama said.

The victims included two brothers aged eight and 14 whose parents worked at the orphanage, it reported.

The incident took place at around 2:30 pm (0630 GMT) at the Children's Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage in Hulu Langat, just south of the capital Kuala Lumpur

"I shouted to others to run and in a split second the earth came tumbling down, burying many of my friends," Bernama quoted a 14-year-old who escaped the landslide, Mohammed Iman Abdullah, as saying.

A local resident who was among the first at the scene said he initially heard calls for help from within the rubble, but half an hour later they fell silent, the agency reported.

There were 49 residents at the orphanage, 44 boys and five caretakers.

Che Rosli Che Mat, an opposition lawmaker with the conservative Islamic party (PAS) expressed shock over the deaths and said efforts to rescue the victims had been hampered by heavy rain.

Two diggers backed by powerful spotlights were being used, he said, as rescuers frantically dug for survivors with spades.

"But the heavy rain is washing down more red earth. I fear they will probably find more bodies," he said. "I fear for the safety of the rescuers."

Che Rosli said the orphanage was located on a hillside in his constituency, and it had been raining heavily in the semi-rural area for the past two days.

The disaster struck while the children were practising traditional Malay "kompang" drums under a tent near a steep slope, he said.

"The landslide happened very fast. Only a few children managed to escape. I am surprised an orphanage has been built on a side of hill," he said.

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Shahrizat Abdul Jalil offered her sympathies. "I was just informed by the incident of children being buried in a landslide. It is a sad news," she said.

Sharizat said she would work with the police to establish the cause of the event, adding: "I hope the children's home was not built without the approval of local authorities."

Landslides are regular natural disasters in Malaysia and the government has imposed strict rules with regards to hillside development.

In one of the country's worst landslips, a huge mudslide brought on by heavy rain triggered the collapse of a 12-storey residential building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in December 1993, killing 48 people.

by on May. 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM
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egyptian_mommy
by Member on May. 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM
Poor kids :-( Saying prayers for them.
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ProudMuslimMa2B
by on May. 21, 2011 at 2:44 PM
Very sad.
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