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Heavy rains: Two houses collapse in Kuantan

KUANTAN (Jan 6): Two houses in Taman Gambang Damai  (pictured) here, collapsed early yesterday morning, believed to be due to hillslope soil movements as a result of continuous rain since Saturday.

Kuantan district police chief ACP Mohamad Noor Yusof Ali said the incident, however, did not cause any death or injury because the occupants were believed to have already moved when it occurred at 3.40 am.

"Currently, the relevant quarters are conducting an investigation to identify the real cause of the incident and surrounding residents were instructed to vacate their houses," he told Bernama when he visited the scene of the incident.

Meanwhile, Pahang Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Abd Rahim Muda, when met by reporters said, movements of the soil was most likely due to the flow of water of a nearby tributary.

He said the Minerals and Geosciences Department Malaysia which was conducting inspections and investigations was expected to submit a report on the cause of the incident within a week.

"So far, 26 houses are categorised as at risk and the occupants are housed at Bukit Gambang Resort apart from some who chose to stay elsewhere. They will only be allowed to return after we are satisfied the area is completely safe," he said.

A homeowner, Suhaimi Yunus, 51, a lecturer, described himself as very fortunate to have moved a few hours before the incident, and could not imagine the fate of his wife and three children if they were at home when it took place.

"I saw there was a crack in the house before going out to work and found that the crack has become bigger when I came home, causing me to start feeling uneasy and I decided to immediately look for a rental house in the surrounding area.

"We moved in a hurry and only had time to bring a refrigerator, washing machine, desk and television before being contacted by neighbours early this morning to inform us that the house had collapsed," said Suhaimi, who had been living there for the past three years.

A witness of the incident, Roslina Ahmad Said, 37, claimed to have heard a loud noise around 3 am, prompting her to get up and leave the house to check the surrounding situation.

"Suddenly, Suhaimi's house collapsed in front of my eyes. I quickly roused all the family members who were sleeping to get out (of the house) immediately because I was worried if the same situation can happen to us," she said.

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