Over 15,000 students in 49 Sabah schools hit
Published on: Saturday, January 28, 2023
By: Anthea Peter, Ahmad Apong, Lagatah Toyos, Azmie Lim, Mardinah Jikur
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Over 15,000 students in 49 Sabah schools hit
The flood situation at SK bawang, Kg Beluran.
Kota Kinabalu: Some 15,531 students are affected by the current flood situation in Sabah which has been described as the worst in 10 years. 

State Education Deputy Director Abidin Marjan said at least 49 schools were affected, including in Beaufort, Beluran, Kota Marudu, Kudat, Lahad Datu, Pitas and Sipitang. 

He said Beluran had the most number of flooded schools at 17, followed by 12 in Kota Marudu.  

Abidin said 10 schools were used as temporary flood shelters (PPS), namely SK Rukom and SK Dandum in Pitas, SMK Pamol in Beluran, SK Sikuati and SK Lok Yuk, Sikuati in Kudat, SMK Terusan Sugut in Lahad Datu as well as SK Ranau, SK Taritipan, SMK Tandek and SMK Bengkongan in Ranau. 

The other 40 schools experienced varying severity of flooding. Some experienced flooding only along the routes to the premise, while some experienced flooding within the premise itself. 

Some schools have been temporarily closed while partially affected schools continue operating as usual.

Tthe number of flood victims rose drastically to 1,421 people from 495 families who were housed at 17 relief centres in four districts compared to 607 people from 139 families yesterday evening.

Rescue workers assisting the elderly

According to the Sabah JPBN, three districts recorded a sudden increase, namely Kota Marudu with 806 victims (356 families), Kudat with 381 victims (77 families) and Paitan with 155 victims (44 families).

In Pitas, the number of evacuees remained at 79 people from 21 families who are taking shelter at three relief centres.

In BEAUFORT, the water level of Sungai Padas has risen following continuous rain in Beaufort and Tenom districts.

Among locations affected are low-lying areas namely Kg Balibata, Kg Binunuk, Kg Lumatai Ulu, Kg Lumatai Laut, Kg Bakalau, Simpang 4 Chan Furniture, Kg Bingkul, Kg Melati, Kg Keretapi and Kg Melulugus.

Head of Fire and Rescue Station Muhammad Hasbullah Nenggok said, Friday, that the crossroad near Chan Furniture is impassable to all vehicles. Kg Bakalau was still flooded.

“The river is rising and dangerous and the fire department advised people to evacuate if instructed and follow instructions of the rescue team”, he said.

“Several villages in Klias and Lumadan constituencies are affected,” he said. So far no victims were evacuated even though the Temporary Evacuation Centre was ready.

The public are advised to be more careful and not let children wade around and bathe in flood waters to avoid untoward incidents.

“Keep all important documents in a safe place and if there is an order to move, they must obey and not delay any longer because the rescue team is very busy with work in other places”, said Muhammad Hasbullah.

In BELURAN, four elderly victims in Kampung Rancangan Cocos, Paitan, were sent to the Temporary Transfer Centre at the JPKK Chairman of Kampung Cocos’ house.

The Fire Team also helped deliver food supplies in the Pamol area. As at 4pm, six centres were opened in Paitan involving 101 Heads of Households with 371 victims.

Flood victims hope the government would solve the flooding issue that has become a nightmare during the rainy season.

One victim in Kampung Sepagaya, Mohd Rais Kadir, said the village had been hit by flash floods five times since last month and that the latest was the worst and caused most losses.

“When the flood hit (Wednesday), we panicked as the water suddenly rose and we were not able to save any of our belongings. Everything was swept away.

“From December to now, we have been hit by flood for five times. 

“This is very burdensome and the government should find a solution,” he said.

Mohd Rais suggested expanding the ditches, cleaning the nearby river or any other appropriate action that can overcome this problem.

A bakery entrepreneur, Kartini Othman, said the latest flooding caused more than RM50,000 losses to her business.

“All my supplies for the bakery business such as raw materials could not be salvaged,” she said.

Mukim Developer, Zulrahman Mat Salam said the flooding usually only reached the road, but this time the water suddenly rose and the villagers could not do anything.

“We hope that the government will prioritise the solution so that we no longer face this situation that cause losses to many parties,” he added.

Lahad Datu Member of Parliament, Datuk Mohd Yusof Apdal said he would seek a solution with the relevant department.

He said from the briefing given by Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Force, they have managed to identify the cause of the flood.

In TAWAU, more than 12 major areas were hit by flash floods following continuous heavy rain late Thursday that lasted until midnight.

Among them are the Old Tawau Park in Jalan Pantai; Kg Vietnam Tg Batu Laut, Kg Tg Batu Keramat, Kg Saddani, Taman Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sin Onn; Lorong Gembira Taman Lee Ka, Taman Damai, Taman Setia, Lorong Chong Thien Vun, Kg Baru Batu 2, Lorong Bunga Raya and Kg Rawa-Rawa Batu 4.

Many consider the flooding to be the worst in recent memory, rendering several main roads impassable to small vehicles such as those in Ching Thien Vun, Air Panas and Takada.

There were also areas where the water level reached waist level, displacing residents, apart from putting children and the elderly at high risk of death.

Tawau Police Chief ACP Jasmin Hussin said a temporary shelter (PPS) was opened at Dewan Mini Al-Mukarramah in Kg Batu Keramat which was badly affected.

It is understood that the PPS which opened at around 9pm houses more than 24 families involving 109 individuals.

He cautioned unscrupulous people not to take the opportunity to commit crimes such as stealing other people’s belongings during the calamity.

Tawau Fire and Rescue Station Chief Jemishin Ujin said his team conducted surveys in 10 affected locations including Felda Umas, after receiving numerous emergency calls.

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