Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Flooding partly due to opening diversion gate?

Published on: Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tenom: The current worst flooding in the district and Beaufort since 1981 and Storm Greg in 1996 is forcing personnel at the Pangi Hydroelectric Power Station to work doubly hard.

They not only have to monitor the water level all the time but also prevent debris from logging operations upstream entering the turbine tunnel and affecting power supply.

Some callers told Daily Express they suspected the severity of the flooding in Beaufort was due to the opening of the diversion gate.

According to sources, power supply was unstable due to the unusual water flow, as the dam had to relieve the water.

Last year, the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) Senior General Manager (Asset Management) Ahmad Fuad Md Kasim said that erratic weather at that time had resulted in the Pangi Hydro power station unable to generate its full 66Mw capacity.

The water level in Tenom has started to recede with readings of 177.30 compared to 178.96 previously, according to the district's operations unit, Saturday.

Up till Saturday, a total of 3,000 flood victims were evacuated to 24 evacuation centres which involved 38 villages.

District Officer Madiem Layapan, who is also the district's Disaster Committee Chairman, said rescue operations and food distribution has gone as planned.

The rescue operation was jointly conducted with the Police Air Unit which gave early assistance by distributing food to seven evacuation centres, he said, when met at one of the centres at Dewan Datuk Seri Panglima Antenom. Also present was Melalap Assemblyman Datuk Radin Malleh.

Madiem said Tenom MP Datuk Raime Unggi donated five boats and engines to the district's Fire and Rescue Department to assist in the operation. The Sabah Red Crescent Association donated mattresses while the Police Family Association assisted in preparing food for the victims at the evacuation centre.

Also present was Umno Welfare Bureau Chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

Tenom Chinese Chamber of Commerce led by Kapitan Wong Tet Yun donated food aid.

"It is our social responsibility to help those in need and we hope more would come forward to assist," he said. The Tenom Pemuda Umno led by Jamawi Jaafar launched a flood donation campaign to collect any form of assistance from those who wished to assist.

Jamawi said among items donated were used clothing, baby diapers, rice, canned food, sugar and cooking oil, adding those who wished to contribute may contact them at 087-733099.

"We have assisted disaster victims in other countries and this time, it is our time to help flood victims in Sabah," he added.

In Beaufort, the water level of Padas River showed a reading of 171.6.

A total of 1,825 flood victims are still taking shelter at five evacuation centres, with a majority at SMK Beaufort, followed by Dewan Kg Kukut and Dewan Baru.

In Keningau, about 20 villages were affected, among them Kuala Puntih, Kg Membulu, Kg Ansip, Kg Ansip Laut, Kg Pagalungan, Kg Gasabon, Kg Sungai Apin-Apin, Kg Kepayan Baru, Kg Mempulut and Kg Kuala Aging Dalit Sook.

Many of the 146 flood victims from eight effected villages are still currently taking shelter at the evacuation centre at SK Pekan Keningau Dua.

State Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib who visited the three districts urged villagers to channel any issues to the nearest police station. Together with him was the District Police Chief DSP Robert Salisip.

Hamza also briefed volunteers and non-governmental organisations on their roles and safety measures to be taken while assisting flood victims in the wake of a drowning incident involving a child.

Acording to Kg Momogun Moyok former village chief Moyok Agular, several bridges and routes were damaged.

He said schools also remain closed and crops were destroyed, thus, hoping for the Government to take serious measures to address this problem.

His sentiment was echoed by villagers in Kg Ansip who also hoped the Government would do something, as this was a matter of urgency.