Collapse of wall triggers landslide

The collapse of a 10-metre-long retention wall near the top of Penang Hill triggered a landslide on Tuesday.

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong blamed shoddy workmanship and a slow response by the Public Works Department (PWD) for the collapse.

Tonnes of earth and boulders crashed into a 30m-deep ravine, dragging along dozens of trees.

Ironically, the wall perched on a steep slope was completed in January to prevent landslides. It gave way just after 4pm after a day of torrential rain.

Nobody was injured in the incident which occurred 700m above sea level beside the 5km Penang Hill jeep track.

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong blamed shoddy workmanship and a slow response by the Public Works Department (PWD) for the collapse.

He said the PWD failed to take into account the underground drainage system around the wall.

“There was a deep crack on the surface of the road adjacent to the wall a day before the landslide. The PWD was slow to react to the problem.”

He urged the PWD to prevent a repeat of the incident at the other 29 landslide-prone areas on the hill.

A PWD spokesman said the department would conduct a detailed analysis to ascertain the reason for the collapse.

It would also carry out a comprehensive soil stability study before outlining a master plan to re-construct the wall.

“There is no point rushing to rebuild the wall if the earth structure beneath it is unstable.”

NST

The Star

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