SEREMBAN: The Lata Kijang recreational forest in Jelebu near here has been temporarily closed after the soil structure in the area was found to have been destabilised following heavy rains in recent days.
Several landslips have also been reported in the area recently following incessant rain.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said all activities in the area had to be stopped until authorities gave the green light.
“No one will be allowed to use the facilities in the recreational area for whatever reason,” he said.
He said that the authorities have been monitoring the situation over the past few days.
Standing at 100m, Lata Kijang is among the highest waterfalls in the country.
Mohamad said Forestry Department officers have been patrolling the 380ha forest area to ensure no one violated the directive.
“The stairs built to take visitors right to the top of the waterfall is also unsafe.
We have discovered that the soil structure in the area has weakened,” he told reporters on Wednesday after the weekly state executive committee meeting.
Mohamad said a bailey bridge, toilets, resting area and the camping site were also sitting on unstable ground.
“There has been massive soil erosion in the area as large volumes of water have been brought down from upstream to the seven-storey high waterfall,” he added.
He said Sungai Kenaboi, which runs through the reserve, had also become shallow due to erosion and large amounts of sand being deposited in the river.
“The roof of a building being built at Taman Alam Liar caved in after a tree fell on it,” he said.
Prior to this, several scientific expeditions have been launched to the Lata Kijang forest area and Gunung Besar Hantu, which was a repository of flora and fauna.
Gunung Besar Hantu is among the cluster of mountains located at the tail end of the Titiwangsa Range. Standing at 1,462m above sea level, it is among the highest peaks in Peninsular Malaysia.
The state government recently gave a RM5mil grant to upgrade facilities at Lata Kijang and Gunung Besar Hantu.
Mohamad said the authorities, had since Aug 20, cordoned off the area and warning signs would be put up.