22 October 2014

The Bukit Beruntung landslide in Selangor, Malaysia

Posted by Dave Petley

The Bukit Beruntung landslide

Bukit Beruntung is a relatively modern residential development in Selangor, Malaysia.  On Monday morning heavy rainfall triggered movement in a slope behind some of the apartments, leading to the evacuation of over 2000 residents.  Two days on, over 500 people are still out of their homes, although movement of the slop[e has slowed down.  This is not a small slope failure – this image, from the Star, shows the slope from the crown area:


Of note here if the large displacement at the crown of the slope and the deep red colour of the soil, which indicates that it is highly weathered – typical for a tropical setting.   A likely explanation for this slope failure is revealed by images of the toe of the slope, which show a heavily deforming retaining wall:


The deformation in the asphalt in front of the wall is interesting.  Whilst this might indicate that the failure is passing beneath the wall, I think it is more likely that the wall is being shunted forward by the landslide, causing this deformation.  Whilst in all probability this slope can be easily fixed, it is not going to be a trivial task.