The term landslide means the usually rapid downward movement of a mass of rock, earth or artificial fill on a slope. Although the action of gravity is the primary driving force for a landslide to occur, there are other contributing factors affecting slope stability. Typically, pre-conditional factors build up specific surface or sub-surface conditions that make a slope prone to failure, whereas the actual landslide often requires a trigger before being released. Landslide was one of serious disaster that happened in Malaysia since 1919.
The first landslide tragedy recorded in Malaysia was in Bukit Tunggal, Perak which claimed 12 lives and damaged a lot of property. There are many landslide disaster being reported since then and causes many damages, life and economic losses. This tragedy are becoming more frequent lately especially in Cameron Highland that been reported for about one case a year. In Cameron Highland, besides causing loss of lives, it also damaged the highway which was usually the main road there.
This will disturbed the economic activity where it can delay the delivery of agriculture products since Cameron Highland was one of the main sources of agriculture in Malaysia. Besides, landslide will also disturb tourism in Cameron Highland because roads will be closed, transportation will be delayed and tourist will afraid to come there. From 1973–2007, the total economic loss due to landslides was estimated about US $1 billion. Most of landslide events in this country occurred during rainy seasons or after prolonged heavy rainfall. This can be understood since this country, due to its geographical position, experiences two maritime monsoons namely northeast and southwest monsoons.
Soil erosion that occurred due to natural process is usually does not cause much problem. It becomes a problem when human activity causes it to occur at much faster rate than under natural conditions. The main cause of landslide in Cameron Highland is illegal deforestation. The term deforestation can be defined as the action of clearing wide area of trees. About 30% of Earth’s surface is covered by forest. Deforestation occurs for multiple reasons such as trees are cut down to be used for building or sold as charcoal.
The cleared areas after the deforestation will be used as a development area. It will result in habitat damage, biodiversity loss and aridity. Deforestation also been used for war purposes. But now days, there are no wars happened so it was not a reason for people can cut down trees illegally. Between 2000 and 2012, 2.3 million square kilometres of forest around the world were cut down. As a result, only 6.2 million square kilometres remain of the original 16 million square kilometres of forest that formerly covered the Earth. Deforestation can cause a lot of damages other than landslides. Deforestation can also increase greenhouse gas emission.
We all know that forest help to process carbon dioxide that we produce and changed it to oxygen by doing photosynthesis. It will contribute to rising temperatures if a lot of trees cut down. Changes in climate can affect forest dwelling creatures by altering their habitats and decreasing availability of food and water and species losses may occur if this thing keep go on. Examples of impacted species around the world because of deforestation are leopards, elephants, tigers and Orang Utan. The results of the study suggest how to overcome this deforestation problem from time to time.
Cameron Highlands in one of places that landslide happened because of deforestation. Cameron Highland was one of the best in our country. A place with many agriculture and good places for sight-seeing. Unfortunately, Cameron Highlands had been reported with many cases about landslides. The latest landslide reported happened in Sungai Koyan road on February 2018. This incident luckily not cause any loss of life and injury and no vehicles were involved in the incident but there are roads that closed for caution purposes.
It shows that land slide really can cause economic losses since many road will be closed when land slide happens. It was normal landslide happened natural because of rain and structure of soil is not strong. The big problem was landslide that happen because of illegal deforestation ran by irresponsible person. Deforestation will cut down many trees that been used to strengthen the ground grip. Since Cameron Highlands mostly were high ground, trees were needed to make sure that slope will not slip and cause landslide. Low strength of ground grip and heavy rain can cause a huge disaster other than landslide.
It may cause mud flood, huge casualties or even death since there are many population lives there. When we examined landslides in Cameron Highlands, we discovered that we can reduce this incident from happen again and again. This paper is structured as follows, causes of deforestation and causes of landslide, effects of landslides, the way to overcome landslides and deforestation and discuss the cases that happened in past few years.