BATU GAJAH, Dec 9 — The Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands is still closed to the public as authorities are still clearing debris from the landslide which occurred last week, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said today. 

He added that reopening the road requires approval from the slope experts at the Public Works Department (PWD). 

“I think it is still under the repair process by PWD.

“After the repairing work is done, the slope unit from PWD need to give technical advice and if they’re satisfied that the area is safe then we can open it for the public,” he told a press conference after visiting the Tin Dredge (TT5) in Tanjung Tualang here. 

Saarani said the authorities are taking extra caution as there is a risk of another landslide, which could double the cost of repairs.

Studies are being taken to determine soil movement in the area and elsewhere.

“We are not desperate to open the road as the road users can still use the Tapah road to head Cameron Highlands,” Saarani said. 

Perak PWD deputy director Hamdan Ali has previously said that the Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands road will be closed for at least a week to clear the area of debris.

Back then, he said it might be partially reopened on December 9 if weather did not disrupt clearing work.

On December 3, continuous rainfall had caused a landslide at the Section 27 of Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands, killing two men, who were trapped inside their vehicles and buried under the rubble. 

The victims identified as Muhammad Hafiz Hamdi, 31, from Tanjung Piandang in Kerian, who was driving a lorry carrying vegetable and Tan Chee Heng, 36, from Klang, Selangor, who was driving a MPV. 

The debris from the landslide covered about a 100-metre stretch blocking the road from the both the sides.

Police had initially advised the road users to use the road from Tapah to head to Cameron Highlands as the Simpang Pulai road is temporarily closed.