GEORGE TOWN — Oct. 23, 2018: An expert from Universiti Sains Malaysia has described any more work on the paired road in Paya Terubong as risky because the soil is seen to be friable and not suitable for any construction.
According to Disaster Mitigation and Land Erosion Management expert Professor Dr. Habibah Lateh, should the project continue, there is a possibility of a landslide which may be worse than the one that killed several workers recently.
“I am at the site of the landslide today to see the situation and I am surprised as the terrain and topography are not at all suitable for any construction.
“In fact not only the soil is friable, the rock is granite which tends to crumble,” she told reporters after surveying the site.
The make-up of the granite rocks is not cohesive, which can lead to slope instability as the soil is loose and not able to withstand pressure.
Habibah is of the view that a detailed study, especially on topography, should have been carried out prior to allowing work to begin.
Habibah was not impressed with what she saw, suggesting that in future the Penang government should get the views of experts if it is to carry out development involving hillsides.
“In terms of planning and structure set by the state government, it really is beautiful but when no one is monitoring a project’s implementation, then this (landslide) happens.
“If a landslide occurs because of natural factors we can accept it but when it involves human factors, it needs to be looked into and should not be repeated,” she commented.
She also saw that the containers housing the workers were located on a slope area where there was plenty of water flowing with soft and loose soil and it was obvious that they were prone to collapse.
The landslide at the Bukit Kukus site on Friday buried 13 containers and other dwellings occupied by workers. So far nine bodies have been found, four injured and one missing. — Bernama