KUALA LUMPUR: Two hundred occupants of Block F of the Taman Keramat Permai Apartment were ordered to vacate their homes after cracks were found in the building.
A soil movement detector has been installed to monitor the situation, Selangor Disaster Management head Ahmad Fairuz Mohd Yusof said today.
He said the detector was installed today to monitor the soil movement until Monday before a decision would be made on whether the four-storey building is safe for occupation.
“We will need the necessary information before deciding whether the building can still be occupied or needs repair,” he told reporters when met at a temporary evacuation centre for occupants of the building at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Taman Keramat today.
Ahmad Fairuz said 38 people, comprising nine families, had vacated the apartment and moved to the evacuation centre as at 12.30pm today.
“We ordered the occupants to evacuate the building last night and some of them opted to stay with relatives elsewhere,” he said, adding that he expected more occupants to move to the evacuation centre, where they would be provided the necessary assistance, including food.
He said activities would be organised for children and also health checks for senior citizens.
Residents interviewed laid bare the severity of the cracks.
“Through the cracks on the floor of my upstairs neighbour, I can see the kitchen part of a unit downstairs,“ said an occupant at Block F of the Taman Keramat Permai Apartment, explaining the severity of the situation.
Ahmad Zulkarnain Ahmad, 38, who lives on the ground floor of the apartment, said he went to the fourth flood of the building block and saw serious cracks on the wall and floor.
“I did not expect the cracks to worsen ... I could see the kitchen part of the unit downstairs through the cracks on the fourth floor. Following which, we were forced to evacuate to enable inspection work to be conducted,” he told reporters at the scene.
He hoped that the problem could be addressed before the fasting month, which is in about a week.
“That is the only house we have ... don’t expect us to go through the fasting month at the evacuation centre.
“We have been told that the inspection will take three days before a decision is made on whether or not it is safe for us to return,” he added.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Taman Keramat has been turned into a temporary evacuation centre for occupants of the apartment, though some of them opted to move into their relatives’ home or stay at hotels.
A senior citizen, Mohd Mohid Saidin, 68, who stays on the fourth floor of the apartment, said the cracks on the floor and wall worsened since the past few days.
“There have been cracks, but not obvious ones. Hope it can be addressed by the authorities immediately,” said Mohd Mohid, an occupant at the apartment for more than 20 years.
Azmi Adnan, 48, whose unit is at an adjacent block, said other residents at the apartment also feared for their safety.
“For the moment, the authorities confirmed there is no cracks at our block,” he added.
Checks by Bernama in the area saw the area monitored by the police and personnel from the Works Department conducting inspection work.
Another occupant, Ahmad Zainudin, 53, said he had been staying at the apartment for 28 years.
“There were cracks, but only small lines and not as serious like what happened last night. I was shocked to see the cracks getting bigger and spread to other parts of the building,” he said when met at the evacuation centre.
Meanwhile, Maimunah Hamid, 47, said she was shocked to see the cracks, which were previously thin lines, to have stretched longer so fast and hoped the authorities would take immediate measures to address the problem for the safety of the occupants.
Meanwhile, Ampang Jaya deputy police chief Supt Mohd Zaid Hassan said the police have set up a 24-hour control post at the apartment.
“Occupants who want to enter the building to get their belongings will be required to register at the post. This is to avoid any untoward incident,” he added.
More than 200 occupants at the apartment were ordered to evacuate their homes after cracks were found in the building yesterday. — Bernama