KUANTAN: A disused mining pond, known as the ‘green lagoon’, has drawn scores of children from nearby housing settlements.
The children will cycle to the pond after school or during the weekends to cool off in its clear waters.
However, underneath the inviting surface lurks the danger of unpredictable depths and cold temperatures that could trigger muscle cramps in swimmers.
The mining pond at Bukit Rangin Perdana 2 near here has been attracting youths over the past few weeks after it went viral on social media.
Despite its popularity, the pond remains dangerous for those looking to beat the heat.
Bukit Rangin Perdana 2 Kawasan Rukun Tetangga chairman Khalil Anwar Alias, 33, said villagers only came to realise the presence of the pond two weeks ago when they saw several groups of youths entering the prohibited area.
“Previously, none of the villagers were aware about the existence of the disused mining pond.
“When I inspected the area, I saw a lot of youngsters swimming and despite the warnings; they refused to listen and chose to remain in the water.
“Apart from the private area signage, there are no other warnings and the area is surrounded by bushes, which makes it ideal for students to trespass and enter without people realising their presence,” he said.
Villager Hashim Abdul Rahim said they understand the temptation it presents to the young ones but essentially, they are just very concerned about their children’s safety.
The 49-year-old said every evening, youths including primary school children will frequent the lake side to play in the water, indulge in fishing or gather by the banks of the lake.
“Some of the youths claim they know how to swim but judging by the condition (of the pond), none of them are sure about its depth and what is down there. People might have even thrown rubbish into it.
“The existence of the pond remains a mystery and we hope the authorities will move in swiftly to fence up the area, and put up signage to warn people from entering the water.
“It will be too late if the authorities only step in after an unfortunate incident happens,” he said.
Checks revealed that most will frequent the pond, which is only accessible by foot, from 3pm onwards and some would stay till late in the evening.
When contacted, Panching assemblyman Datuk Zaili Besar said he will inspect the former mining pond and decide on the suitable safety measures soon.
It is learnt that the Department of Environment will be sending their officers to the area to see if the pond was the result of previous (rock) quarrying or mining activities.
In February this year, three children drowned in a pool at a disused bauxite mining site in Taman Sungai Karang Jaya, Sungai Karang here.
The tragedy led to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry ordering all bauxite operators in Pahang to fill in and fence up disused bauxite mining ponds, as well as install warning signboards around the areas.