Floods keep Matu residents in cold storage


pix 2: Serious flooding: A helicopter view of villages in Matuinundated under flood water.

SIBU: Matu District, a coastal town about two hours by boat from here, has been hit by floods since Monday with water level reaching as high as two metres.

The number of victims evacuated to the Matu Civic Centre swelled from 54 on Wednesday to 68 from 20 families yesterday.

SMK Matu, the only secondary school in the district, remains closed as the water level has reached up to the chest level.

The affected villages include Kampung Bawang, Kampung Tian, Kampung Sekaan Besar, Kampung Sekaan Kecil, Kampung Jemoreng and Pasar Lama where communication has been cut off.

Several public facilities and shophouses are also seriously affected.

Residents there opined that the floods this time were the worst, damaging many properties.

A resident, Sofian Bohari, 27, said the floods came without warning. “We consider the floods as a natural phenomenon and a nightmare as they hit us suddenly and were very fierce,” he said.

Hamidah Azman, 38, said since the flooding five days ago, the people there had been stranded.

“We have no choice now but to use small boats to move around as roads are now inaccessible by even big vehicles. We can only pray that the situation will get back to normal soon,” he added.

Matu MP Datuk Wahab Dolah had on Tuesday flown in by helicopter to check the situation and helped the relevant government agencies to channel aid to the victims.

The Jemoreng constituency Service Centre gave out mattresses, blankest and mats to the affected residents. Also helping out were the Mukah Bomba, Civil Defence Department, the police and Matu District Office.

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Environment , East Malaysia , chua

   

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