Penampang submerged
Published on: Wednesday, October 08, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: Much of the West Coast was inundated by water following a three-day continuous rainfall, with Penampang experiencing one of its worst floods since the big flood in 1999.Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has issued a directive to all relevant departments and agencies to be on alert and ready for disaster.

Disaster relief committees at all levels had also been instructed to be prepared to face any eventuality in their respective areas.

"The public are reminded to be cautious and look after their safety, family and properties in view of the present weather," said Musa in a brief statement.

Non-stop rain since late Saturday until afternoon Tuesday due to the tail effect of two typhoons - Phanfone and Vongfong - had also caused the water level at the Babagon Dam reservoir to overflow through spillways.

The Water Department, however, denied that excess water was released from the dam itself.

The Moyog River level was reported to be at a dangerous level of 10 metres while some suspension bridges spanning the river were submerged by water.

At press time, a total of 82 people had been rescued and evacuated from their submerged homes by the Fire and Rescue Department together with the help of police, Civil Defence Department, Rela as well as organisations like the Penampang 4WD Recreation Club.

The rescue operation in Penampang was led by Kota Kinabalu Zone Chief, Haji Hamsa Isnurdini, while the Penampang 4WD Recreation Club led by its President, Andre Norbert, sent 10 vehicles providing food to "trapped" victims.

Two temporary shelters had been designated, namely the Tun Fuad Community Centre and the Tuavon Community Centre but as of press time, nobody had been evacuated to the shelters.

Elsewhere, at Mile 51/2, Tuaran Road, a portion of the hills where the Anglican Cemetery is located collapsed exposing several coffins.

The landslip also affected the crematorium belonging to the Sabah Indian Association at the foot of the hill.

Most of the people in Donggongon recalled that in 1999 floodwater had actually risen to about four feet high and even the shophouses were submerged then.

This time, the water was not as high but caused long traffic jams as roads near Donggongon like Kasigui, Kibabaig and Inobong remained submerged at press time.

Meanwhile, Penampang Fire and Rescue Department Chief Jamaludin Hussin said 400 residents from Kampung Penampang Proper, Kampung Hungap, Kampung Tuavon and Kampung Tanaki in Penampang were affected by the flood.

He said the department had been directed to help affected school pupils and relocate affected residents to houses of relatives.

In a related development, Penampang District Police Chief Supt Ratan Singh said a landslide had occurred at Km 45.6, KK-Tambunan Road and advised motorists to avoid the stretch and use the Kimanis Road instead.


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