Kota Kinabalu-Ranau road closed due to landslide

KOTA KINABALU: Heavy rain for six hours caused a landslide at Kilometer 65 of the Kota Kinabalu-Ranau road at the foot of Gunung Kinabalu early today, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded.

The landslide, which occurred at about 1am covered a 100m stretch of the hillside road not far from the route to the Kinabalu National Park near Kundasang.

Kota Kinabalu Public Works Department executive engineer Vincent Chua said there was no loss of life or damage to property.

The area was being cleared and the work was expected to be completed tonight or tomorrow, he said.

"The road is still passable but only one lane is opened alternately. But there is some risk to motorists because the earth and small stones are still rolling down the hill due to rain for the past few days," he said.

He said the clearing work caused a traffic jam stretching 3km in both directions.

"We have built an 80m-long embankment to stop the debris from covering the whole road," he told Bernama when contacted here.

He said one lane heading towards Kota Kinabalu was opened for 30 minutes every hour to facilitate the clearing work so that the road could be fully opened by tonight or tomorrow morning.

"Many people, including police personnel and Rela members, are involved in the clearing work and traffic control," he said, adding that seven heavy machines were being used to clear the earth and stones.

He said the hilly area along the road had high water condensation, resulting in the area being unstable and prone to landslide.

The road was covered with earth and debris 50m high and 10m wide, he said.

Chua said that if the condition of the affected area deteriorated, an alternative route would be opened but it would only be passable to four-wheel-drive vehicles. -- Bernama

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