December 18, 2023
PETALING JAYA – Residents of a row of double-storey terrace houses in Taman Wawasan in Puchong, some of whom have been living in the area for over two decades, were dumbfounded after a sizeable sinkhole emerged right opposite their homes.Residents in Jalan Wawasan 3/9 said they did not spot any sign of soil erosion and there were no structural cracks on the road leading to their homes.
That is why it came as such a shock when the landslide occurred late on Saturday following a heavy downpour, “swallowing” four of their cars.
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The occupants of nine houses closest to the sinkhole were forced to evacuate through the back door after the authorities declared the area unsafe.
Fortunately, there was no casualty.
The row of houses in Jalan Wawasan 3/9 is on high ground and close to a slope.
Resident Abd Rahim Mb Ali, who lives with eight of his family members, was among the nine homeowners who were affected. He said he was shocked when he saw the entire road in front of his corner-lot house sinking, with his parked car going down with it.
“We never expected a landslide to occur here as there has never been any warning sign and the roads seemed perfect,” said the 72-year-old retiree when met at the location yesterday.
Abd Rahim said disappointment set in yesterday when he learnt that he could not seek insurance compensation for the loss of his car. “I believe I won’t be able to claim anything as the incident is considered an act of God,” he said.
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He added that he had not made plans to move out of his house but wants the local council to take necessary steps to ensure the incident will not recur.
Wawasan 3 Residents Association chairperson Yong Siew Yoong, 60, said the landslide was least expected.
“We are quite puzzled as to why this has happened as there were no known mining activities in our area in the past.
“However, we are glad the relevant authorities are helping to resolve the matter and nobody was injured,” she said.
Yong added that she would keep the nine affected homeowners updated on any new development to their homes and the sinkhole.
Resident Puah Siah Phang, 70, said he was glad that the authorities had responded to the incident swiftly.
“Four of my family members and I were able to evacuate as soon as it happened and we are staying with a relative nearby. We never ever thought this would happen here,” said Puah who had lived in the area for 23 years.
Accountant Tung Ei Lee, 42, said she called the Fire and Rescue Department for help soon after the landslide occurred. She said she might consider selling her house if more landslides were to occur close to her home.
“Our priority is safety. If it is unsafe here, we will consider moving out,” she said.
System analyst James Cornelius, 58, urged the government to take quick action as incessant rain in the past few weeks had softened the ground and made it vulnerable to landslides.
“The authorities have to do a slope failure risk assessment quickly as the coming rain will make the ground more risky to landslides,” said Cornelius, who lives with three other family members.
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He said the incident had left him in fear of more landslides occurring in future.
Retiree CK Low, 61, said he hoped that the area assemblyman and MP would play a more active role in assisting residents affected by the incident.
He added that he expected the representatives to assist and keep residents updated on the upcoming steps taken by the authorities.
“It is important for them to come here and calm the residents down as we are in a state of shock over what happened,” he said.
University student Sarvasiddharth Pukalenthi, who lives nearby, said he and his father were driving along the road when other residents flagged them down and warned them of the landslide.
“I immediately reversed my car and left the place.
“We were taken aback to see the big sinkhole and used another route,” Sarvasiddharth said.
Subang Jaya City Councillor Lee Jen Uyin, 48, urged residents to alert the local council if they see any soil erosion in their area.
“Residents have to be our eyes and ears and be on the lookout for landslides,” she said.