Published on: Friday, January 17, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: The number of flood evacuees increased to over 350 after heavy rain hit much of the West Coast from Tuesday.
In Sipitang, 68 people from two villages, Kg Pantai and Kg Tg Nipis, were evacuated to the Sipitang Multi-purpose Hall around 10pm on Wednesday, while the number at the Kota Belud Community Hall had increased to over 300 by night from only 97 people at 3pm.
In Kota Belud, Daily Express found on Thursday that the flood victims had come from nine villages - Kg Pangkalan Abai, Lebak Moyoh, Kg Semberai, Kg Song-Song, Kg Dongoi, kg Pirasan, Kg Tg Pasir Labuan, Kg Keranjangan and Kg Wakap.
Flooding, however, has subsided in much of the villages leaving only the town "padang" (field), but the aftermath has affected the local paddy fields in what is known as Sabah's rice bowl.
The Agriculture Department expects to release a detailed report today on the damages incurred by the flooding.
A senior officer Mohiddin Ismail said district agriculture officers were on the field to assess the situation.
"We cannot confirm how bad is the situation, neither can we estimate losses at the moment," he said.
In Sipitang, 15 families comprising 33 adults and 35 children had to be rescued by the Fire and Rescue Department to the temporary centre - Sipitang Multi-Purpose Hall.
A Kg Tg Nipis victim, Shahirie Ambai, claimed that he saw a toilet and kitchen of one a fellow villager washed away by strong current.
Sipitang Member of Parliament, Datuk Sapawi Ahmad visited the evacuees and assistance like food was also distributed by the Welfare Department.
In Tamparuli, locals are now using the alternative route out of Tamparuli as the concrete bridge is still submerged underwater.
A landslide in the area also forced SK Bawang to be shut temporarily.
Connection in Kiulu has now been restored after the contractor completed an extension of the road by 5pm after a portion some 200 metres from a primary school collapsed.
Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the Public Works Department is now working on the cost to repair the damaged road.
"The process will take sometime but I hope it can be done as soon as possible. I have informed the district PWD engineer to repair it urgently to avoid untoward incidents," he said.