While authorities are still investigating the cause of the recent fatal landslide in Malaysia, an expert told CNA that it was likely an effect of intense rain during past weeks.
The rain led to what is called an “earthflow”, after the slope gets saturated and slip surfaces deep inside the ground are formed, said Dr Nor Shahidah Mohd Nazer of the Department of Earth Science and Environment at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Even with all precautions taken, Mr Pang cautioned that landslides could happen “anywhere” and were difficult to predict.
“The incident was very tragic, especially when it happened to a campsite where people were camping and enjoying nature,” he said.
“I’m not saying that landslides which involved victims on other occasions are less serious. But when this happened to campsites and campers, it really saddened me quite a lot.”
Mountaineer Jeremy Tong, who organises camping and summit trips to Gunung Ledang in Johor about eight times a year, acknowledged that landslides were “quite common” in Malaysia.
“But that kind of scale (near Genting) was quite shocking. I’m not sure about the area itself, but I think that it was honestly quite scary,” said the 32-year-old, who works as an outdoor education specialist at United World College of South East Asia.
Mr Tong used to camp frequently around Gunung Tahan in Pahang more than a decade ago. He said he usually avoids trees and streams when picking a campsite, noting that these could lead to deadfall and flash floods after rainy weather.
“We never really look out for mudslides, because it’s very hard to predict that kind of soil erosion at that kind of level,” he said.