Watery view: Beaufort town under water (above), and people seeking refuge on rooftops during the severe floods in Tenom town.
KOTA KINABALU: Nearly 2,600 people from 32 villages have been evacuated over the last two days following persistent rain in Sabah’s interior.
The rain has worsened floods in the Keningau, Tenom and Beaufort districts.
Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department spokesman Affendy Ramin said the Tenom district was the worst hit with more than 2,200 people from 24 villages being evacuated.
He said another 285 people from two villages in the nearby Keningau district were also evacuated, while in Beaufort 48 people from six villages were moved out. He added that 12 roads and bridges were cut off due to flooding or land slips.
Meanwhile, state Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Sairin Karno said many evacuees remained at relief centres.
“The flooding was quite severe in some places with only the rooftops of some houses visible,” said Sairin, the Liawan State Assemblyman.
He said the floodwater levels had risen so quickly that many victims had no time to salvage their belongings.
“Some of the people may be returning to severely damaged houses filled with mud and destroyed belongings,” Sairin added.
He said Welfare Department officials trying to assess the damage were unable to reach certain areas.
Sairin said villagers in Keningau and Tenom were bracing for more floods as rain continued to fall in the Crocker Range area.