[Malaysia] Integrated Modelling of Landslides due to Hydrometeorological Impacts in Langat Basin, Peninsular Malaysia (iModelLandslides)

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

In recent years, Malaysia has experienced a number of landslide disasters resulting from extreme tropical rainfall. Landslides have occurred in several parts of Malaysia, such as Paya Terubong (Penang), Highland Towers (Kuala Lumpur), Hulu Langat and Pos Dipang (Perak). These landslides cost millions of pounds of property loss and hundreds of lives. On 21 October 2017, 11 workers were killed in a landslide at a construction site on Malaysia's Penang Island. The October 2002 landslide in Kuala Lumpur which completely destroyed several houses and killed six members of a family and the 2011 Hulu Langat landslide, where 15 children and a caretaker in an orphanage were killed are still in the public's memory. Population increase and subsequent urbanization have demanded the development of new residential and areas and roads in mountainous areas where there is an increased risk of slope failures. Malaysia's population is projected to rise to 41.5 million by 2040, up from 28.6 million in 2010.
This proposal will produce a qualitative hazard map delineating areas prone to landslides in the Langat River Basin, Peninsular Malaysia. The hazard map will identify landslide-prone areas, including expected changes in landslide susceptibility as a result of climate change. Langat River Basin is most urbanized river basin in Malaysia. Important conurbations include towns such as Cheras, Kajang, Bangi and Putrajaya (the administrative capital of Malaysia). The basin has an area of about 2350 km2. The area has been experiencing numerous landslides disasters and has been identified by the Malaysia Public Work Department in its National Slope Master Plan Study as landslide-prone area.
The proposal will involve close collaboration with the Public Works Department and the National Disaster Management Agency in Malaysia and several industrial partners to ensure the adaptation of the proposed map in practice.

Planned Impact

There are many recent cases of landslides in Malaysia which are attributed to soil instability due to change of the soil water content as a result of monsoonal rainfall. The Highland Tower collapse in 1993, which claimed 48 lives, and the 2011 Hulu Langat landslide, where 15 children and a caretaker in an orphanage were killed, are well-known examples. 600 lives have been lost since 1973 as a result of failures landslides in Malaysia [1]. The majority of failure cases are associated with soil instability triggered by monsoon rainfall. Malaysia's economy depends on its transportation network. The Public Works Department in Malaysia has estimated that one-third of slopes along the federal motorways are at risk. Collapses of slopes often cause delay and disturbance on highways. As an example, the Bukit Lanjan landslide near Kuala Lumpur in 2003 had resulted in a six-month highway closure. Population increase and subsequent urbanization have demanded the development of new residential and areas and roads in mountainous areas where there is an increased risk of slope failures. This research project will lead to economic, social and environmental impacts as follows:

a) This proposal will produce a qualitative hazard map delineating areas prone to landslides in the Langat River Basin, Peninsular Malaysia. The hazard map will identify landslide-prone areas, including expected changes in landslide susceptibility as a result of climate change.
b) This project will minimize the extent of the damages from landslides by producing a long-term early warning system predicting the mass movements in the landslide-prone areas would have been in place.
c) The qualitative map will form a basis for loss and damage assessment and has potential to assist in landslide hazard mitigation. The map will help in infrastructure development planning taking into consideration climate change impact.
d) The map will help in identification vulnerable people and therefore help in pre- and post-disaster interventions. The output of the research can also be used as part of a disaster relief effort for example identifies road routes most likely to be open.
e) The obtained outputs will raise the awareness of the public and help government agencies in channelling hazard funding.
f) The project will train young researchers in advanced analytical and experimental techniques and will enable them to train the next generation of Malaysian and UK researchers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description A numerical tool for analysing soil-atmosphere interaction in slopes in tropical soils has been developed. Two testing sites in Malaysia were selected and instrumented with sensors to measure the soil movements resulted from changes in its moisture contents. The numerical tools and the site monitoring aim to understand the hydrometeorological impacts on slope stability.
Exploitation Route In this project, we work closely with the Public Works Department and the National Disaster Management Agency NADMA (part of the Malaysia Prime Minister's Office) on producing hazard maps, which will help in identification vulnerable people, planning pre- and post-disaster interventions and help government agencies in channelling hazard funding.
Sectors Construction

 
Description Shallow Landslide Susceptibility Mapping in Rize, Turkey
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Funding ID N/A 
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 04/2022
 
Description Engagement with JKR (Public Work Department, Malaysia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A meeting was held at the Hulu Langat office of the Public Work Department on 6 Sept 2019. The objectives and project activities were presented. The meeting sparked interest from the stakeholders on the importance of climate resistance and led to collaboration and sharing of data of slopes in the region. The meeting was followed with several communications and a visit of officials from the Public Work Department to the project monitoring site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Engagement with MPAJ (Ampang Jaya City Council) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Four meetings were held with the officials of Majilis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (Ampang Jaya City Council, Malaysia) to discuss the objectives of the projects and the importance of climate resilience design of slopes. The debate sparked questions and discussion afterwards. Officials were invited on three occasions visit the project testing sites on 16/04/2019, 06/08/2019 and 28/08/2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Engagement with MPKJ (Kajang City Council) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Two meetings with officials of MPJK (Majilis Perbandaran Kajang, Kajang City Council, Malaysia) were held on 6 Nov 2019 and on 15 June 2020 to raise the awareness of the policymakers on the importance of climate-resilience design of slopes. These meetings sparked interests form the city council and led to collaboration and sharing of information on slopes and infrastructure planning
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Presentation to Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof Raihan Taha and his co-workers gave a presentation to the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia on 20 Feb 2020 about the project activities and the importance of considering climate change in designing man-made slopes. The presentations sparked several discussions and interesting questions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020