Sunday, May 22, 2011


KUALA LUMPUR (CNN) - Rescue workers were looking for at least a dozen children reported missing following two landslides that buried a Malaysian orphanage, killing at least 16 people and injuring nine others, the nation’s official news agency reported Sunday.  Rescue workers scoured the area for up to two dozen children believed buried in the landslides that hit the orphanage near Hulu Langat, southeast of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the Bernama news agency said.  It was not immediately clear how many of the 16 killed were children. Earlier reports said the bodies of at least five children, between the ages of 11 and 14, were pulled from the debris.  Eight children, between the ages of 11 and 17, and a 22-year-old adult were pulled out alive from the debris by rescue workers and villagers.  But rescue workers were still searching for dozens missing, the police said.

The landslides, which were triggered by heavy rains Saturday, struck the orphanage at about 2:30 p.m., while many of its 49 male residents, including five adults, were outside setting up tents on the hillside for an outdoor event later in the day, the police chief said.  It is believed that two landslides occurred within seconds of each other. All of them in the camp were trapped, authorities said.  
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he “instructed relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the mishap,” and he also promised the government would rebuild the orphanage and provide payments to the victims, the news agency said.

At least 16 children died and three others were seriously injured on Saturday after registering two avalanches near an orphanage located 28 kilometers east of Kuala Lumpur.  People were attending a class when they were buried in tons of soil due to landslides after heavy rains in recent weeks.  These terrible misfortunes are due to environmental damage caused by indiscriminate deforestation, the huge amount of trees being felled to make way for cattle ranching and extensive farming. 

It’s time that humanity reverts to and values a simpler, healthier, and more natural way of life.  Only in this way may we attain true health, harmony, and prosperity.  We are part of the earth, and she is part of us.  ... The air has priceless value.  We all share the same breath - the beast, the tree, man; all breathe the same air, and it shares its essence with the life that it sustains.  The freshness of the air, the force of the waters, the mighty pine tree, every grain of sand at the beach, every drop of dew in the forest, the sap that runs through the trees, even the sound of the insects sustain and soothe the lives of humankind on this planet.  The biological wellbeing of our earth, and the future of mankind are being ruined by the materialistic vision of society.

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