27 April 2023
The 25 April 2023 landslide Bukit Tunku in Malaysia
On 25 April 2023 a landslide occurred at the site of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) at Persiaran Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, in Bukit Tunku, a part of Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia. JBPM (the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia) has posted a gallery of image of the aftermath of this landslide onto their Facebook page, which includes these two images of the failure:-
Fortunately there was no loss of life, although a security post was destroyed. I think the location of this landslide is [3.1677, 101.6722]. The Google Earth image below, which shows the site, displays no evidence of distress in the structures and roads:-
The Slopes Division of the Public Works Division (JKR) is investigating the landslide. The Malay Mail reports that:
“Public Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said based on preliminary investigations by the Public Works Department (JKR) slope department, a leak in the underground water pipe most likely caused the landslide.”
However, there is also a suggestion that pooled water following recent heavy rainfall may have played a role. The site has now been covered in tarpaulins to prevent water ingress during further heavy rainfall, and piling is underway to stabilise the site – presumably to prevent expansion of the landslide area.
Once again, this landslide has led to calls for greater capacity in Malaysia to deal with landslides, most notably in the Kuala Lumpur area. There is considerable expertise in slope management and engineering in Malaysia, but the observation that the risk is high is well made. This event highlights the critical importance of the management of drainage systems on slopes, especially when the materials are weak.