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Mum and daughter among saved
Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
By: Lagatah Toyos

TAWAU: A civil servant and his friends saved a mother and her small daughter who were trapped in a house due to strong flow of flood waters at Kg Pasir Putih at 5.50am on Tuesday.

Hasman Sattu, 37, said he rescued a four-year-old girl who was on top of a cupboard while his friend kicked the door of the victim’s house and rescued a woman out of the premises.

“At that time, the water level had reached the neck of the woman who does not know how to swim while her daughter was crying on top of the cupboard.

“The situation was very chaotic because the water had risen very fast like in few minutes,” he told Daily Express, Tuesday.

Hasran said he also relocated two cars to a safer place at 5.30am before the water rose at 5.50am when he returned home.

“Other villagers also rushed to drive their cars out but unfortunately about six vehicles sank because the owners did not manage to move them out to safer areas,” he said who lives with seven family members.

Hasman, who described the big flood as the second worst after 2010, hoped the Sg Tawau flood mitigation project at By Pass Pasir Putih here could be implemented immediately because the people have long been waiting for it.

“It would be better not to wait (to implement the flood mitigation project) until there is a fatal case in order to act accordingly…this time, the flow of the flood water was strong and luckily the victims could be helped.

“In addition, children cannot go to school and people could not go to work when their houses are affected by the flood,” he said.

Another flood victim at Kg Pasir Putih, Rusman Gandeng, 52, related his near-death experience when his wife and four children risked their lives by standing and holding onto the house gate for three hours with water level at their chins.

“We were trapped due to the flood water flow moving so fast that it reached a height of six feet from the floor of our house at about 5.50am,” he said, adding that the water started to recede at 10.30am.

According to Rusman, they had no choice but to stand on top of the porch because they could not get out and asked his wife and children to persevere until the water receded or rescue team came.

“I hope that implementation of the flood mitigation project which we heard about would not be postponed or delayed,” he said.

Ratna Sulle, 58, who has to work hard to save her three grandchildren said the water level rose up to their waist.

“All our electric appliances like television and refrigerator were damaged because we did not have the time to remove them to higher areas.

“However, I am grateful that all my family members are safe,” said the housewife who rented the basement of a house.

Meanwhile, two primary schools have been closed due to flood considered the worst in nearly 10 years. 

State Education Director Mistirine Radin said the schools were SK Serudong Baru and SK Kuala Apas, both of which have a total of 538 students and 55 teachers. 

She said classes at SK Pasir Putih, SK Blok 31, SK Batu 22 Jalan Balung and SK Andrassy remained in session.

She said SK Serudong had to be closed because all pupils were unable to attend class after a bridge leading to the school was submerged. As for SK Kuala Apas, she said 90pc of the school building was under one to 1.5 metres of water.

A few settlements were badly affected. They were Kg Pasir Putih, Kg Rawa-Rawa, Batu 2 and its surrounding areas, Kg Serudong Baru, Kg Tass Andrassy, Batu 15 Jalan Apas, Kg Kuala Apas and Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Tawau.

One incident at Mile 14 Jalan Apas saw a 60-year-old man and his 12-year-old nephew having to hold on to an oil palm tree for three hours when they were trapped in the flood after attempting to rescue their cattle. 

They were rescued by a team from the Fire and Rescue Services Department at noon, Tuesday.

In Kg Serudong Baru, a house was washed away. District Civil Defence Corp officer Capt Hussain Mohd Noor said 20 staff were deployed to various badly affected locations.

Merotai Assemblyman Sarifuddin Hata also said the flood situation has called for speedy implementation of the flood mitigation project at Sg Tawau By Pass Pasir Putih Phase V.



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