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Disaster Focus : 2 dead and 50 more missing after a landslide hit a campsite in Malaysia

Two people are dead and more than 50 are missing after a landslide hit a campsite in Malaysia early Friday, officials said, as rescuers searched the area for survivors. The landslide in Selangor state, on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur, occurred at about 3 a.m. (1900 GMT) on the side of a road near an organic farm with a campsite, the state’s fire and rescue service said in a statement. A total of 79 people were trapped in the landslide and 23 were found safe, the ministry said. In addition to the two dead, three were injured and 51 were missing.

The landslide fell from an estimated height of 30 meters (100 feet) above the camp and covered an area of ​​about one acre (0.4 hectares), department director Norazam Khamis said. “I pray that the missing victims will be found safely soon,” Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad wrote on Twitter on Friday morning. “The rescue team has been working since the beginning. I’m going there today.” The disaster struck about 50 km (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur in the town of Batang Kali, not far from the popular Genting Highlands area known for its resorts and natural beauty.

Pictures posted on Father’s Biofarm Facebook page show a farm in a small valley with a large area where tents can be pitched. Footage from local television showed the aftermath of the landslide in a wooded area next to the road, while other images on social media showed rescuers climbing over thick mud, large trees and other debris.

Selangor is the country’s richest state and has previously suffered landslides, often attributed to forest and land clearing. The area is in the rainy season, but no heavy rains or earthquakes were recorded overnight. About 21,000 people were displaced in seven states across the country due to torrential rains a year ago.

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