Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Search on for missing Sri Lankan in Malaysian landslide

Malaysian rescuers were Monday searching through the aftermath of a landslide that killed four people after discovering a Sri Lankan maid was still missing, a news agency said.

Central Selangor state police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told state news agency Bernama search and rescue work had stopped on Sunday but was resumed after a maid was reported missing.

The disaster hit early Saturday, burying 14 houses and cutting off access for thousands of residents, as well as disrupting water, electricity and phone lines.

Malaysian premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said his government would ban hillside developments after touring the site over the weekend.

Foreign minister Rais Yatim said his ministry would work with authorities on the ground to determine the nationality of any victim found.

Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang also called for an inquiry into the landslide disaster and the "the criminal negligence of the various parties involved, particularly the federal, state and local government agencies."

The landslide came after days of heavy rains in the area, which is prone to slippages. In 2006 four people were killed and 43 homes destroyed in a nearby suburb.

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