Automotive slope failure after rainfall on route to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia; cover photo

Published on September 19th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Simpang Pulai – Cameron Highlands Road Closed Due To Slope Failure

The road from Simpang Pulai to Cameron Highlands due to a slope failure.

It’s not uncommon for heavy rains to result in landslides and sinking roads in Malaysia, but it’s still quite frightening to see when it happens. The latest major road to go through one of these catastrophic collapses is the FT185 federal road between Simpang Pulai and Cameron Highlands, at Section 43.9. The stretch of road was closed to the public at 9pm yesterday (18 September 2021) for road works. In the meantime, road users are advised to use the FT059 road between Jalan Tapah and Ringlet to get up Cameron Highlands.

After several days of continuous heavy rain, the soil structure on the slope holding up one side of the road began to collapse. It is unclear when exactly the road collapsed, but it was detected and reported at around 5.45pm yesterday. Around 30 metres of road collapsed more than 4.5 metres at its worst point according to a statement by State Infrastructure

According to the statement, the landslide involving a 30-metre road stretch with a depth of 4.57 metres was detected at 5.45pm and was likely due to continuous rain which caused the soil structure to become weak and unstable. Thankfuilly, it seems like no one was hurt due to the sunk road.

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It is unclear how long roadworks are expected to continue, but check back with the Kinta district Public Works Department or JPJ’s facebook page for more information on this if your journey might be affected.

About Slope Failure

According to the International Sabo Association, a slope failure is when a slope collapses suddenly due to weakened self-retainability of the earth under the influence of a rainfall or an earthquake. Because it happens so quickly, it can be fatal near residential areas.

Slope failure can be prevented using a number of methods. It usually involves creating some kind of artificial barrier or frame to stop soil from eroding uncontrollably. In the case of this stretch of road, it looks like some kind of retaining wall was constructed, probably of the anchored variety.

These anchored retaining walls use cables or other stays that are anchored in the rock or soil behind it. It’s quite a complex method to use, but it’s supposed to be useful for when the walls are expected to be too thin or weak.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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