YAN, Aug 21 — The Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Malaysia (JMG) detected at least four landslides had occurred on the slopes of Gunung Jerai following the water surge phenomenon on Wednesday.
JMG Geological Engineering Branch head Dr Ferdaus Ahmad said the landslips were detected based on the initial observation of the Geology Department Disaster Task Force which was assigned to identify the causes of the incident apart from evaluating the risks.
“Basically, what had happened can be called a geological disaster with landslides caused by continuous rain for a long time and maybe also be caused by tremors of an earthquake.
“In our case in Gunung Jerai we found that before the incident, it rained at an unusual rate coupled with the mountain terrain at an angle of more than 25 degrees,” he said when met by reporters at Titi Hayun here. today.
He said the type of rocks found in the mountain comprised sandstone, granite and quartzite could also contribute to the occurrence.
However, he said investigations and detailed study is required to identify the actual situation of the mountain before the department could come to a conclusion.
“Currently, we cannot enter the landslide areas of the mountain due to safety. At the initial stage, we are carrying out mapping of the mountain area using drone with the assistance of the Survey and Mapping Department,” he said.
He said based on mapping, the department would identify the areas which such incidents had occurred and other areas which posed risk of a geological disaster during water surge phenomenon.
Meanwhile, the Kedah, Perlis and Penang JMG director, Abdullah Sulaiman said the geological disaster at Gunung Jerai on Wednesday was similar to other incidents including the Pos Dipang tragedy in Kampar, Perak in 1996 which was due to a combination of various geological factors.
Therefore, he said the findings and investigation as well as the risk evaluation should be carried out soon so that potential geological disaster at Gunung Jerai could be identified for further actions.
“After obtaining the study findings, we will make recommendations to the ministry or local government for consideration,” he said.
So far, the flood tragedy caused by the water surge phenomenon from Gunung Jerai on Wednesday afternoon took four lives while two are still missing.
The disaster also affected the surrounding areas of the mountain apart from Kuala Muda district. — Bernama