by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Oct 23, 2013
Water released from a dam caused a river to flood in a Malaysian highland region Wednesday, leaving two foreigners dead with another missing and destroying 80 homes.
Authorities have recovered the bodies of an Indonesian woman and a Bangladeshi man who drowned when the Bertam River in the Cameron Highlands overflowed, said district police chief Zahari Busu.
A 17-year-old Indonesian girl is still missing, while at least 80 squatter homes along the river have been destroyed, he said.
The water had to be released from the dam following heavy rain to prevent it from bursting, he added.
"The floodgates were opened as there was too much water. The river couldn't take it," Zahari said.
The Cameron Highlands, a tea plantation region and former British colonial retreat that is popular with tourists, is known for its misty, rainy weather and steep hillsides.
Landslides in the area, some 300 kilometres (200 miles) north of the capital Kuala Lumpur, are common. A landslide in a village occupied by indigenous people killed seven in 2011.
Many foreigners from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and other poorer countries in the region work in the tea plantations as well as vegetable and fruit farms.
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