04:45 AM Nov 21, 2011KUALA LUMPUR - With Malaysia already bracing for what it expects will be its worst floods in decades, authorities have now put the country on "full alert" for landslides.
With the Northeast Monsoon having already set in, experts are predicting more than the annual average of 100 landslides, The Star reported yesterday.
"We are expecting more landslides with more rain but we must prevent more casualties. We need to be alert and look out for the warning signs and symptoms,'' said Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor.
The Works Ministry is also conducting a public awareness campaign, which includes "full alert" advertisements in major newspapers, to highlight danger signs.
Among the signs of an impending landslide, Mr Shaziman said, are "slanting trees, cracks on slopes, floors and walls".
Asking the public to "act now before it is too late", the minister stressed the importance of notifying the authorities of these warning signs instead of trying to solve the problem themselves.
"For example, there are those who have noticed trees slanting on the slopes near their building. But instead of alerting the authorities, they just chopped off the trees and not long after a landslide hit and people died," he said.
"Inform the authorities when you see such symptoms even if you do not live in the area".
Selangor and the Federal Territory, within which Kuala Lumpur sits, have experienced the most landslides since the 1970s, according to government records, followed by the states of Pahang, Penang and Sabah.
Other high-risk areas are Ulu Klang, Cameron Highlands and Lojing in Kelantan.
Over 600 people have been killed by landslides in Malaysia since 1961.
In the last major incident, on May 21, a landslide hit an orphanage in Hulu Langat, Selangor, burying 15 children and a caretaker. Agencies