PETALING JAYA - A part of the highway linking Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan in Pahang remained closed on Thursday (Nov 12) after a landslide paralysed traffic the night before.
All lanes at KM52.2 on Karak Highway were still blocked in both directions, according to the Star Traffic website.
The Malaysian Insider reported that the affected section remained closed on the orders of the Fire and Rescue Department so that the road can be checked for soil movement.
Heavy rains brought down tonnes of water, mud and tree trunks onto the part of the highway on Wednesday evening. The 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.
Resort World Genting said on Thursday that the road leading to Genting Highlands is not affected by the landslide. The road is open and traffic is smooth all the way to the resort, it added.
A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said the landslide on Wednesday buried five vehicles - one MPV, one trailer and three cars - according to media reports. The Star Online reported that the passengers escaped unhurt after abandoning their vehicles.
But police denied that vehicles were buried. Bentong Police Chief Supt Mohamad Mansor Mohd Nor said on Thursday that the police did not receive any such report.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted his concern at about 10.00pm on Wednesday, saying: "We pray for the safety of all motorists."
The Works Ministry issued a statement on Thursday, saying motorists are advised to use alternative roads to get to their destinations. Those from the east coast heading towards Kuala Lumpur are advised to exit at the Karak toll plaza and use the Pelangai-Bahau-Seremban-Kuala Lumpur route.
"They can also use the Bentong-Karak-Bahau-Seremban-Kuala Lumpur route," said the statement, which was reported by The Star Online.
For motorists from Kuala Lumpur who are at the Lentang rest stop heading for the East Coast, they can make a U-turn to Kuala Lumpur and use the Seremban-Bahau-Pelangai-Karak route.
In a Twitter posting, the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) urged motorists to postpone their journey.
Malaysians were quick to take to social media on Wednesday to spread the news about the landslide, said The Star Online.
On Twitter, @afirdauszaki asked how he was supposed to get back to his campus now with the heavy rains and landslide. @AhmadIllmi11 expressed relief that he managed to get home safely and advised those who were still stuck on the Karak Highway to be patient.
Another wrote on Facebook, claiming that his car was stuck in the middle of the mud and he had to abandon the vehicle to save himself.