Three sinkholes appeared in the capital within three days last week but this does not mean the city is caving in. The appearance of the sinkholes caused panic among the public.
Local daily the New Straits Times front-paged concern by experts over the sinkhole, getting the City Hall to divulge plans for an inter-agency mapping system covering the city’s underground utility lines.
Water concessionaire in Selangor state, Air Selangor did a detailed investigation to establish the cause of what led to the appearance of the sinkholes. It investigated burst pipes incidents that led to the three sinkholes in the city centre.
“Among them (reasons) are the movement of soil caused by vibration or hard pound. This is usually the case when the pipe is not far from a construction site or the pipe position is right below the road surface,” says the agency.
Panic-stricken city folks drew parallels to larger sinkholes in other parts of the world, fearing the same is happening in Malaysia.
In 2010 a sinkhole appeared in Guatemala City, Guatemala, swallowing a three-story factory.
The authorities then said the sinkhole occurred for a combination of reasons, including Tropical Storm Agatha, the Pacaya Volcano eruption, and leakage from sewer pipes.
It was 19m-wide and 30m deep and killed 15 people.
However, an expert in minerals and geoscience in Malaysia told the NST the suggestions that the city’s foundation could be collapsing should be dismissed.
He said large sinkholes usually occurred in places with limestone formations.
But he said the three areas are not resting on limestone formations. They are instead part of the Kenny Hill formation, which occurs over a large part of the city but they are very strong, hard rocks that have weathered over more than a hundred million years. -/TISG