Saturday, June 19, 2021

Over 1,000 affected by severe floods in northern Sarawak

Many have been evacuated while homes and even a bridge have been carried away.

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Heavy rain in the interior of the northern part of Sarawak has left hundreds of villagers in Lawas and Limbang stranded after their homes were carried away by flood waters.

In its hourly flood updates, the Sarawak fire department said 341 flood victims in Lawas and 60 in Limbang had been evacuated to six temporary flood shelters.

In Lawas, 77 families from 29 villages were evacuated to four centres while 17 families from seven longhouses in Limbang were evacuated to two other centres.

Several areas in Miri including Mulu and Baram have also been badly affected by the rain which has been pouring steadily since Wednesday night.

In Mulu, three longhouses, home to more than 690 people, were affected while in Baram, flood waters carried away the only bridge connecting Long Kawa to Long Bedian on the Tutoh river.

A member of the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department wades towards a man through water over waist-high. Photo: Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department

Three schools in Baram – SK Long Luteng, SK Long Atip and SK Long Moh – have also been affected by the floods.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said the rain had caused massive damage to property and dirupted power at Long Lama.

“We have never experienced this kind of flood,” he told MalaysiaNow. “Sarawak Energy had to shut down its generator, so now Long Lama is completely in darkness.”

While residents in Limbang and Lawas had been evacuated, he said many in Baram had had to do the best they can by themselves as there was inadequate place to be converted into evacuation centres.

“Many flood victims in my area have had to move up to the first floor of their longhouse,” he said.

“The problem here is, we don’t have a community hall because the building is being temporarily used by the public clinic. The public clinic had to use the building because there was erosion last year at its old building.

“But then again, this community hall is also unusable because it has been submerged by flood waters.”

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