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Sabah landslide struck after residents felt tremors

Sabah landslide struck after residents felt tremors

KOTA KINABALU: Residents today reported feeling tremors and hearing the sound of rushing water before a landslide smashed a hillside squatter house here last night, killing two children.

One of the residents was Arisa Barahim, 58, grandmother of the children Norain Jaziz, 11, a girl, and Isa Sabri, two, a boy, who were buried in the landslide that struck the area near Taman Elok at Jalan Bukit Nenas.

“The water and debris from the hill came right into the kitchen. I leapt to save myself. So did some other family members. However, one of my daughters and my grandchildren were buried in the debris,” she told Bernama at the scene.

Arisa, a housewife, said it had rained heavily before the landslide.

“All of us tried to rescue the children but it was unfortunate that they were unlucky,” she lamented.

Arisa said she had lived in the area for over 20 years and that the present house where she had been living with her three children, two in-laws and three grandchildren was built about a year ago.

Norain and Isa were confirmed dead after they were rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Another occupant, Siti Nur, 28, fractured a hand and her husband Sabri Botong, also 28, injured a leg.

Saleswoman Rahmah Botong, 36, another of Arisa’s daughters, said she was at work in Karamunsing at the time of the incident.

“I reached home to find the house in such a state. I am saddened by what happened but life has to go on,” she said.

Razim Asalin, 52, a younger brother of Arisa, who lives close by, said he received a telephone call about the landslide that struck his sister’s house and rushed back to help.

“I helped to get the children to hospital in an ambulance,” said the trader.

Majid Musa, 63, also a resident of Bukit Nenas, said he too felt the tremors and heard the sound of rushing water before the landslide occurred.

“I have been living here since 1984 and this is the first time a landslide has happened. I came to help the affected families to salvage their belongings,” said the construction labourer.

This reporter found the settlement, located in a jungle area about 100 metres from the main road at Taman Elok, covered in mud, making movement difficult. — Bernama