It was like a movie, says driver who escaped landslide at Malaysia highway

Naimran (left) with Ibrahim.
Naimran (left) with Ibrahim.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - For one driver, abandoning his car to run from the Karak Highway landslide felt "like something from a movie".

Naimran Yunos, 37, was driving through the heavy rain when a tanker in front of his Mini Cooper suddenly went across the highway on Wednesday (Nov 11) evening. The highway links Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan in Pahang.

"We thought it skidded due to the slippery road, but suddenly we saw this huge amount of mud and water falling off the cliff on our right," he told The Star Online in the wee hours of Thursday.

The wedding card manufacturer was travelling back to Kuantan from Seremban, Negri Sembilan, where his kadlawo.com venture had just opened a new store.

 

His 62-year-old father Ibrahim Mohd Yunos, who was also in the car, urged him to leave the vehicle and run away.

 

"The big wall of mud was rushing towards us very quickly. We had to run. I was the first to stop my car. At the back of us, so many cars stopped and were honking all over. It was quite a panic situation, everyone was reversing," he said.

There was a Royal Malaysian Air Force lorry nearby and the personnel onboard opened up the vehicle so that those stranded by the mudslide could get on board.

"They were on a trip to pick up something in Kuantan. There were three vehicles in a convoy from Kuala Lumpur, two had already passed the landslide point," Naimran added.

In his panic, he left his phone and his wallet in the car, but managed to retrieve it safely once the situation had stabilised.

"My car's exterior is damaged, but it can still start. For us, it's a first-hand, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now, we are very, very hungry," he added.

Describing the area as "pitch dark", he said workers were still clearing the trees as at midnight.

The affected area is not far from Bukit Tinggi, which is several kilometres away from the exit road to Malaysia's most visited destination of Genting Highlands, according to media reports.