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Malaysian mudslide risk audit urged

MALAYSIAN GEOLOGISTS have called for fresh assessment of the risks of damage to the country's main north-south motorway from large mudslides.

The warning came after a massive slide poured mud and uprooted trees on to a 75m stretch of the southbound carriageway, damaging a dual three lane road bridge, on 12 October.

The 600km road runs the length of the country between its borders with Thailand and Singapore. Geologists estimate there are over 100 locations vulnerable to serious mudslides.

Professor Roslan Zainal Abidin from the National soil Erosion Centre at Malaysia's Technical University said mudslides were increasing during the country's two monsoon periods. These are in late summer and in January/February.

'We carried out a visual engineering survey of vulnerable points on the road four years ago.

While many have protection such as retaining walls, there are enough points to make it important to carry out a new assessment.'

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