MIRI: The movement of people, goods, food and fuel supplies along the border boundaries – between Limbang in Sarawak and Brunei, and between Lawas in northernmost district of Sarawak and Sabah – has suffered constant interruptions due to the current floods that hit the region starting early this week.
Land commuters, cargo, food and fuel transporters have been adversely affected by sudden disruption in travel in that region due to the bad weather that had inundated stretches of the trunk roads linking the states.
Fuel has reportedly ran low in Limbang for the past few days as the supplies from Miri cannot reach the town after flood waters inundated the trunk road that connects Brunei to Limbang town at the Tedungan border checkpoint.
Yesterday, the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperative Affairs Ministry in Limbang said that efforts were being made to rush new stocks of petrol and diesel to Limbang and that the shortage should be over very soon.
Nonetheless, there are still concerns that the bad weather may continue and cause more disruptions in supplies of fuel and foodThe road linking Lawas, another border town, to Kota Kinabalu has also been affected by floods.
Datuk Nelson Balang Rining, chairman of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) branch in Lawas, yesterday said it was difficult for interstate travellers at the Brunei-Limbang and Lawas-Sabah boundary to plan their daily movement due to the current bad weather.
“There had been constant disruptions the past few days. It is said that Limbang is facing fuel shortage and the petrol stations there had to ration their sales.
“Limbang town gets its fuel supply from Miri and the tranporters travel via the Brunei border.
“When the border is affected by floods, then the disruption of supply will cause a sudden shortage in Limbang.
“There is a worry that the same situation will happen in Lawas too if the floods continue because the people of Lawas get their fuel from Kota Kinabalu.
“Beaufort (located between Kota Kinabalu and Lawas) is affected by floods now,” he stressed.
Some 1,226 people in Limbang were evacuated from their kampungs into relief centres yesterday.
In Lawas, about 120 people were evacuated yesterday from Long Tuma.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin flew into Limbang yesterday to have a first-hand look at the situation there and to monitor the flood-relief operations being carried out by the state authorities, the Fire and Rescue Department, the police and the welfare department.
He visited several flood-hit zones during the day trip.
Three days earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had flown into Limbang to facilitate the extension of federal assistance to the flood victims.
Meanwhile, ANDY CHUA reports from Sibu that the flood situation in Matu has improved as the incessant rain for the last few days took a breather on Thursday night.
A resident, Jermai Bedihi, said most roads in the district were now accessible to traffic except feeder roads in low-lying villages.
“For those in low areas, the people are still having problems to move about. Some of the roads which have been inundated under water are damaged,” he said.
The water level, which had once reached up to three metres, went down to less than one metre yesterday.
However, the number of people evacuated increased from 68 to 89 from 27 families.
The victims are mostly from Kampung Bawang, Kampung Tian, Kampung Sekaan Besar, Kampung Sekaan Kecil, Kampung Jemoreng and Pasar Lama.