From TheStar :
Ampang’s hill of death
There had been warning signs over the past years and even days before the devastating landslide that struck at about 3.30am yesterday when residents were mostly fast asleep.
Flattened houses, buckled roads, uplifted vehicles, uprooted mature trees, fallen electric poles and layers of mud and debris marked the carnage that left many injured, crying, in shock and in fear of more landslides.
Among the heart wrenching stories are that of a father who tracked his son down in the rubble by calling him on his mobile phone only to find his hand sticking out still holding onto the phone; a mother who rushed in to save her son but lost her life; and a mother of a two-month-old baby who perished while the baby survived.
Even as rescuers using their bare hands and shovels raced against time in the late afternoon to rescue two people believed to be buried alive under tonnes of earth, it rained afresh, causing greater concern among all.
Police from the air-wing unit airlifted 13 people who needed immediate medical attention – two pregnant women, two heart patients, a kidney patient and a stroke patient – from a makeshift helicopter-pad to the hospital here on time.
About 2,000 residents of Bukit Antarabangsa were evacuated on foot as two sliproads were created to give them access out of the vicinity when their sole exit was cut off.
The VIPs who came to the site all sent out the same message – no more hillside development projects – even as many who have lived in the landslide-prone water catchment area for years swore to sell off their properties.
The dead have been identified as veterinarian Dr N. Yogeswari, 40, accountant Ng Yee Ping, 30, and IT student Shaiful Khas Shaharuddin, 20. The fourth victim is Indonesian Surina, 30.
Selangor Chief Police Officer Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the search and rescue operation would continue for 24 hours a day unless the rain gets too heavy.
“The rain is not helping. The area covered by the landslide is more than 10 acres (4ha),” he told reporters at a press conference near the site.
There were VIPs involved, too. The Prime Minister’s principal private secretary Datuk Thajuddeen Abdul Wahab rushed home to his ruined house to rescue his boss’ diary.
The sole missing person is believed to be his security guard.
Singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza who lives nearby was shocked to see a cousin’s house destroyed.
And Dr Benjamin George, who survived the Highlands Tower disaster, was not convinced that things would get better.
If you see where the landslide started, u could see there's a row of houses. My house is the row behind that.
Yes, its that close. and that is what making me very sad. not just the lost of lives and their harta...
My parents bought the house sometime is the 1980s. and we moved there from Taman T*ar in 1990. I was in standard 4 that time....
The house was the first development in B.A. i could still remember how cool the environment would be early in the morning or everytime it rained. we could also hear monkeys at the jungle, now area where the landslide timbus all the houses.
in fact, the apartments in front of us were built when we are already there. with my room acing it, i remember cursing every morning whenever they buat all the construction work. the pilling part was the worst! headaches je.
It wasn't called B.A dulu. It was called Wangs*a Ukay. Most residence still call itu WU, although most ppl would know B.A better - famous for the big houses, rich & famous ppl who lives there.
what most don't know is, B.A started with a few taman perumahan developed by then, MB*F (now already gulung tikar i think, same as our developer)
My house is a simple semi-D double storyhouse with 5 rooms (incl the storeroom) and4 bathrooms. admittedly, kalau ikut standard rumah sekarang, our house is considerd quite besar.
Mama and Papa bought it for about RM130K (correction : RM165K, original price is around RM230K), kalau jual balik sekarang (before this whole catastrophe), it could reach RM500K. mind you, my parents are not well-to-do. they both are also journalist. bukan wartawan dekat all this private companies like Utusa*n, The Sta*r or Medi*a Prim*a but under Bernam*a.
They were what some people consider lucky. to get a big house and payment scheme that enables them to get the dream home they wanted, very near to the city with greenies that doesn't stress them.
with the execption of tama*n tar, we used to live in congested area...my dad always worries how it would effect me and my bro.
he would joke (sometimes serious), the reason we left taman sr*i rampai was because my bro had this facination towards garbage trucks. everytime it came, jojo would be running to the front door and stare.
papa wants more things for us..he wanted us to mix with other races, to converse confidently in english, to be open to the world...thats when he moved us to taman ta*r (that house belongs to my aunt but it was empty as her whole family had to move to bintulu and t'ganu..my uncle was working w carigal*i at that time).
i love the house in WU. its always been quiet. neighbours don't bother you. a sense of tranquility is always there. whats missing is the warmth of kejiranan.
my parents do try to berkawan with the neighbours, and we do have great friends. but takdelah sampai tahap what some kejiranan have...
tanah runtuh does happens sometimes, esp dekat the jalan nak naik bukit tu...in fact, one did happen last 2 weeks and mpa*j are in the process of building the retaining wall..
what happened at 4 am semalam not only shocked us...we always have this fear that tanah runtuh does happens to the housing area, but takdelah sampai pikir bukan-bukan. its something that crossed our minds, but never taken seriously.
i could see most ppl are confused why kawasan yang penuh dgn pokok boleh runtuh. ramai yang tak sangka about underground water kan? i for one admit tak pernah terpikir. i always tot there's always drainage for it.
apparently i'm wrong....
yes, the damage has been done. but what happens after this? will the whole WU kena pindah and leave their house, their precious commodity that they worked so hard to built/get? will BA become empty? will we be able to rebuilt our lives? do we live in fear?
i could sense my mom's sadness when we talked tru the phone just now. its still there. but i talked to Annas just now (he's a friend, a former unimate, who happens to be a policeman di IPD Ampang Jaya).
"Safe but not adviseable to return. at this moment".
sedih sangat ok? but we are greatful that everyone in the family is safe. i'm currently staying with my in-laws sebab dekat dgn AP, my parents and bro di Buki*t Jelutong.
i pray more survivors will be found. i pray for the safety of everyone. i pray things would be safe soon....