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Landslide Disasters in Sabah, Malaysia: Issues And Challenges

Writers : Felix Tongkul & Rodeano Roslee

Date : 18-21 Nov 2008

Publisher : First World Landslide Forum

Location : Tokyo, Japan

Abstract : 

Landslide hazards associated with steep slopes and heavy rain are quite common in Sabah. Seven significant landslides that involved loss of lives and properties occurred in Kundasang, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu areas during the last 20 years. In Kundasang area, two people died, one reported missing and one seriously injured in a landslide in 1989. In Sandakan area, four people were killed and nine others injured when tons of earth partially buried a house in 1996. In a nearby area, 17 people died and two injured when four houses were buried under tons of rubbles during a predawn landslide in 1999. In 2006, three people were buried alive and two injured when a landslide swept through several houses not far from the previous landslide sites. In 2007 one died and two injured when trees fell on them due to a landslide. In Kota Kinabalu area, one person was killed when three houses was buried when a road embankment failed in June 2006. Not far from this site, a huge landslide damaged 15 squatter houses in October 2006.  At this same site, three people died due to an earlier landslide which occurred in 2001. The landslide disasters in Sabah were associated with unfavorable geological and geographical setting and unsustainable human. The lack of policy on development in landslide prone areas poses a major challenge to the State in addressing this problem.