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395 families in 135 villages affected by floods
Published on: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
By: Larry Ralon, Sherell Jeffrey, R Gonzales, Ahmad Apong
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A child swimming in the floods in Membakut.
PENAMPANG: The weekend’s floods affected some 395 families in 135 villages mostly in the West Coast and Interior districts, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who has instructed the Natural Disaster Committees of the affected districts to be activated and ready for any eventuality.  

He said it is too early for the State Government to determine how much the floods would cost, adding the priority now is the safety of all the affected victims. 

“We need to be on alert and in ready mode, including logistically like in terms of rescue boats. We must make sure we are ready for any kind of eventuality,” he told a press conference in conjunction with his visit to SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin, here, Monday. 

It was one of three secondary schools with Form Five classes he visited, besides SM Agama in Bukit Padang and SM Saint Michael. SM Saint Michael here was one of the schools hit by the floods.  

Mohd Shafie said the floods not only affected Penampang but also other districts like Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort, Tuaran, Kota Belud and Tenom.  

“Among the causes of the flood in Penampang is clogged drainage system and the halted flood mitigation project. I have already asked the relevant authority to expedite the flood mitigation project as one of the measures to resolve the flood problem,” he said.  

Torrential rainfall since Saturday caused extensive flooding in low-lying areas across the State on Sunday. 

Twenty-one schools in Sabah have also been inundated and four others are serving as temporary relief centres to flood victims. The schools involved are located in seven affected districts, namely Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Sipitang, Kota Belud, Tuaran and Beaufort. 

A total of 1,209 flood evacuees from 377 families affected by floods are currently housed at 15 temporary relief centres (PPS) in several districts Statewide as at 4pm Monday.

The floods at Manggatal

The Sabah Disaster Management Committee, in a statement, said 323 people from 102 families were housed in four centres in Kota Belud and 751 people from 236 families were given shelter at eight PPS in Tenom.

“In addition, 59 people from 20 families are placed in one PPS in Papar, another 19 people from five families are seeking shelter in one PPS in Penampang, while 57 people from 12 families are housed in one PPS in Beaufort,” the statement said.

A total of 11 districts involving 152 villages in Sabah have been affected by the floods following heavy rain on Saturday, including Kota Belud, Tuaran, Putatan, Penampang, Papar, Beaufort, Keningau and Pitas, it said.

Meanwhile, Sabah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) Assistant Director of Operations, Misran Bisara, confirmed that the main roads connecting Kota Belud to Kota Kinabalu and other districts as well as nearby areas are still inaccessible to small and light vehicles.

As the water level on the affected roads reached almost 0.5 metres in depth, they were only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles, he said.

On Sunday, hundreds of vehicles were stranded at the Kota Belud main roundabout as it was inundated in floodwaters.

Misran also said JBPM would continue flood monitoring, as well as extending the deployment time at Kota Belud fire station from 12 hours to 24 hours to ensure adequate personnel in the field.

In a related development, State Public Works Department (PWD) Director Datuk Richard Jomiji said almost 95 per cent of roads were affected by the floods and landslides due to heavy rainfall on Saturday, with the exception of a few roads in Tenom and Papar.

He said cleaning up works were being carried out to ensure roads were safe for use, and the department was also developing traffic management plans, including installing signs and warning lights in areas at risk of landslides.

In BEAUFORT, five families lost their homes when their houses near the Padas River bank in Kampung Bekalau collapsed due to flooding.

A district rescue team spokesman said the district Fire and Rescue Department received an emergency call around 11.29am on Sunday.

“The incident took place in Kampung Bekalau, about 2km from the Beaufort Fire Station, and immediately after receiving the emergency call, a team of firefighters were rushed to the scene.”

He said no one was trapped and the firefighters rescued the victims’ belongings. 

In KOTA BELUD, the number of flood victims sheltered at the PPS rose to 323 as at 1.30pm Monday from 278 the previous day.

Kota Belud Civil Defence Force officer Jimmy Alberto Tining said one more PPS had been opened at SK Pekan Kota Belud, bringing the total to five.

Earlier centres were opened at Tun Said Community Hall, SMK Taun Gusi II, Muhibbah Hall, Kg Tombol and SRJK Chung Hwa.

“Thirty villages were flooded, displacing 154 adults, 131 children, 21 senior citizens, 13 infants and four disabled people,” he said.

“It is raining less though it’s a bit cloudy as the flood recedes, but nobody has been allowed to return home yet as the flooded areas are still dangerous.”

Incessant rain for nine hours since 3pm on Saturday caused flooding at Kampungs Kota Belud, Siasai Tamu, Bobot, Ejuk, Menunggui, Lebak Engad, Sembirai, Lingkodon, Donggoi, Marajah, Lebak Moyoh, Sadok-sadok, Gunding, Linau and Karang Benai.

It also affected Kampungs Taun Gusi Keranjangan, Tanjung Pasir, Labuan, Tanjung Wakap, Taun Gusi I, Jawi-jawi, Kesapang, Kota Bungan, Tawadakan, Lilud, Merabau, Sangkir, Kota Peladok, Pengkalan Abai, Limatok, Rantai Rosok and Pirasan.

However, the Lebak Moyoh-Kudat bypass was the only flooded and impassable road currently.

A survey also found a cracked road in Kg Purak Ogis and landslides in Kg Lingkubang and Kg Malangkap where roads were closed to clear the debris. The Ranau Bypass was opened after flooding and a landslide.

In BEAUFORT, 12 families displaced by floods have been taken to a temporary shelter at Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Dun Hall.

Forty-nine people — eight men, 14 women, 24 children and three infants — were sheltered at the facility, which was opened at 8pm on Sunday.

A source said Sungai Padas water level reached a dangerous level of 8.87 metres at noon, while in Membakut, the water was at 6.51 metres.

A total of 24 villages and schools in Beaufort were flooded, namely Kg Bakalau, Kg Bakalau Simpang Empat, Kg Binunuk, Kg Balibata, Kg Bingkul, Kg Lumatai, Kg Mapait, Kg Suasa, Kg Kangsa, Kg Kukup, Kg Jabang, Kg Lago, Kg Beringin, Kg Lawa, Kg Berumbai, Kg Betandok Lubak, Kg Luagan, Kg Padas Valley, Kg Lupak, Kg Mempagar, Kg Kebajang Ulu and Laut, SK Lago and SK Suasa, said the source.

Among the flooded places in Membakut were JPS Kg Lumantak, Kg Baitam, Kg Sinoko, Kg Bambangan, Kg Baitam Laut, Kg Pusak, Kg Jambatan Baru, old Membakut town, Kg Baitam Baru and Ulu, Kg Papas, Kg Lampijas, Kg Kayai, Kg Dungau, Kg Limpayau, Kg Brunei, Kg Skim Brunei and SK Pekan Membakut.

 


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