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Over 4,500 moved to 22 relief centres
Published on: Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A total of 4,512 flood victims have been evacuated to 22 relief centres in Beaufort and Tenom.

There are 2,549 victims from 500 families housed at 17 centres in Tenom while Beaufort's five centres are sheltering 1,963 victims comprised of 613 families.

A spokesman from the Tenom District Floods Operations Room said that 29 villages there were still affected by the floods.

Whereas in Beaufort, District Natural Disaster Committee Chairman Mohd Sahid Othman said the number of victims was expected to increase as the water levels in the villages were still rising, with only Beaufort town showing a slight dip.

He said 138 victims from 40 families, who lived between Kg Batu 60 and Batu 63, could not be relocated yet due to strong currents in Sungai Padas but had managed to move to higher ground and were being monitored.

He appealed for donations of items such as blankets, pillows, clothes and other necessities to help the victims.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib, who visited the affected area, said the third wave of floods in the State has claimed three lives, including an eight-year-old boy found drowned in Kampung Lubak, Beaufort on Friday.

Beaufort Police Chief DSP Mustaffa Maarof said preliminary investigations showed that the boy was playing with friends near a drain when he slipped and fell into the drain at about 6pm.

It was learnt that his friends including his 70-year-old grandmother who saw the incident tried to rescue the boy but failed.

State Education Director Datuk Jame Alip who extended condolences to the family of the pupil, Sharizal Wahid from SK Lajau, Beaufort.

He advised parents to watch out for their children's safety especially during rainy season.

Meanwhile, the Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) Welfare Bureau will carry out all humanitarian and natural disaster missions in the country replacing the 1Malaysia Putera Club, said its Chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

Abdul Azeez, who is also the Putera Club president, said the Club would only focus on such missions abroad.

"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has ordered the Welfare Bureau's first mission of assisting the flood victims in Sabah," he told reporters after visiting the Dewan Sri Antanom relief centre in Tenom.

The people here are urged to comply with instructions of the authorities for their own safety in the face of the floods.

District Officer, who is also the Chairman of the Flood Disaster Committee, Shaid Mohd Othman, said such co-operation is very important for the smooth transfer process of flood victims.

"Co-operation is very important to ensure that the transfer of victims to designated location go off without a hitch.

Their unwillingness to move will create difficulty with the transfer of duties elsewhere.

"The stubbornness of certain people, who refuse to move, will endanger themselves and their families if they make their move at the last second when the level of water will rise," he said at a briefing on the flood operations room at the Beaufort Police Headquarters, afternoon.

Shaid also appealed to the departments, as well as state and federal agencies, which can provide assistance related to their role in confronting the disaster.

He said the flood, which started on Feb. 13, is jeopardising the entire area and is described as one of the worst in 19 years.

The number of flood victims that have been evacuated at 3pm today, rose to 2,053 people in seven evacuation centres.

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