Sinkhole disrupts Ranau traffic
Published on: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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Ranau: Thousands of road users were temporarily stranded Sunday night when the Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan main road was cut off at KM2 due to a reccurrent sinkhole caused by heavy rain in the afternoon.Fortunately an alternative route – a narrow village road connecting Kg Takurik, Sinarut Baru and Tagudon Lama could be accessed by roadusers, except for heavy vehicles.

Hundreds of vehicles from both directions were forced to move slowly to avoid accidents due to the narrow road.

District Officer, Faimin Kamin, who is also the Chairman of the District's Natural Disaster Committee, said quick action by JKR saw the road being reopened early Monday.

"The area in question is a main road connecting key districts in the state, and it is good to see that JKR managed to tackle the problem fast.

"Roads under the jurisdiction of JKR will be maintained by the department itself through the concessionaires involved. For roads under the District Council, Kekal Mewah concessionaire will take action," he said.

In a similar development, Ranau's JKR Department Chief, Andrew Lau, said the five-meter long problematic road that collapsed due to erosion on the culvert wall beneath the road is expected to be rectified Monday evening.

"We have done a temporary backfill through our concessionaire Lintasan. We will work out a permanant solution to replace the damaged CMP culvert so that if similar weather condition returns in the future, there will be no more sinkhole.

"We advise that road users be patient with the slow traffic flow through this area. We hope the weather will improve and the next action can be taken in order to prevent similar circumstances from repeating," he said.

The emergency solution to cover the enlarged sinkhole with river rocks and sand without proper pavement, however, had caused traffic to move very slow through the affected area, resulting in traffic jam over 10 kilometers from end to end.

Meanwhile, Faimin also assured that the Tamu Bulanan in Ranau will not be cancelled due to the uncertain weather conditions and road damage problems.

"We urge traders and visitors from within and outside of Ranau to come up and set up stalls while make merry the Tamu Bulanan in Ranau which are held at the end and beginning of each month," he said.

Meanwhile, ongoing torrential rain also caused flash floods and landslides in villages Ranau.

The flash floods occurring at the junction of Kg Marakau resulted in the house of one villager, Masyitah Izzan, 30, and nine family members to be flooded by one meter at about 9pm.

Head of Fire and Rescue Department, Jimmy Lagung said his side received a call from the victim.

"The rain began to fall in this area at about 5pm. We understand that the victim's house was in safe condition until about 8.30pm when the water rise rapidly.

"This situation forced the victim and her family evict fast without ample time to remove items in their house.

At least one house in Kg Lukapon Kilimu was affected by landslide that hit a portion of the victim's house wall at midnight Sunday when the victim, Saimah Binti Kasidi, 63, and five other family members, including a one-year-old child was asleep. They heard a crumbling sound followed by a thump on the side of their house.

"We understand that land debris that poured down from the hill at the back of the victim's house was also due to heavy rain that loosened the soil structure and collapsed on the walls of their homes.

Jimmy urged the family to move to a safer place temporarily for fear that bad weather conditions could lead to more destructive landslides.

He lamented that some do not want to report such incidents to the authorities, until it is time for them to make insurance or other wellfare claims.

"Such instances should be immediately reported to the authorities via line 088 878799 or to the 999 line so that immediate action can be taken to save lives and properties."

In SIPITANG, five villages were flooded forcing 30 families to be evacuated to Sipitang Hall when the Lukutan River overflowed due to the incessant heavy downpour since 6pm until late night on Sunday.

The villages affected were Kg Mesapol Lama, Kg Naluyan, Kg Babakong, Kg Mesapol and Kalamauh causing the hall to be filled with some 109 people comprising men, women and children.

It was reported that the road to Kg Ulubole was unable to pass due to a bridge collapse.

Personnel from Civil Defence Force, District Council, police, Fire and Rescue Department, General Welfare Service Department and the Red Crescent Society assisted the villagers during the Evacuation.

In TONGOD, 10 houses in Kg Entilibon Asal were flooded at 1.10am, Monday.

Telupid/Tongod District Civil Defence Officer Lieutenant Amrin Amirun said residents contacted them when water started filling up houses due to the tide and rainfall in Ulu Sungai Malian vicinity.

"No shelters were open and residents were temporarily moved to their family home." He said.

Tongod APM member also conducted location monitoring and on Monday, the situation started to recede. - Clarence G Dol, Jeremy S. Zabala and Mardinah Jikur


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