The death toll from the deadly landslide in Malaysia’s Selangor state has risen to 24, authorities have said as search and rescue efforts continued.
The latest body to be recovered is that of a young girl, bringing the total number of children killed in the tragedy to seven, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani told reporters following a visit to the site, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier, two bodies of a woman and a boy were found close to each other. Authorities believe they are mother and son.
There are an estimated nine individuals still missing with authorities using machinery and dogs to locate them.
“The chances of survival are very slim because there’s no oxygen if they are trapped under a heavy load of soil. The operation will continue until all the victims have been found or until the seventh day,” Selangor state fire and rescue department director Norazam Khamis said at a press conference.
Rescue workers had called off the search late on Friday following heavy rains before resuming their efforts on Saturday.
The landslide struck a popular campsite in Selangor state early on Friday, catching about 100 people as they were sleeping, with 450,000 cubic meters of soil sliding downhill towards the victims, according to Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The disaster comes as the Southeast Asian country has seen a season of heavy rain as part of the northeast monsoon season which typically lasts from November to March.
The meteorological department has forecast heavy rains in several states over the weekend, while the department of irrigation and drainage has warned of flooding in parts of Pahang state which borders Selangor state.