MIRI: Bintulu district in northern Sarawak is being pounded by rain, causing a surge in the number of flood evacuees and threatening the safety of a longhouse along Sungai Plan.
So far 364 flood victims have been evacuated from three inundated populated localities.
Sarawak Disaster Relief Management Committee secretariat said there were now 118 families who had been relocated from their flooded houses.
“We have opened two flood-relief shelters at the Bintulu Indoor Stadium and the Civic Centre.
“The flood evacuees will be given shelter and food there until further notice, ” the secretariat said.
The Bintulu Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Unit and District Office and Welfare Department staff were helping in the flood-relief operations.
Flash floods of up to a metre high have swept through several housing settlements in Bintulu town and along the Bintulu to Miri highway in northern Sarawak since Sunday morning, causing panic among residents trapped by the swiftly rising water.
The floods caused by torrential rain inundated squatter settlements along Sungai Plan and Sungai Sebatang and in the Kidurong Avenue housing estate.
In the meantime, the Bintulu Fire and Rescue Department said the Rumah Jaran longhouse along Sungai Plan was badly hit by hillslope erosion.
“The heavy rain eroded a 100m stretch of slope at the back of the longhouse, affecting its foundation.
“There are 64 residents in the longhouse. They have been advised to move out, ” said the department.
Sarawak is facing the onslaught of the landas season that is entering its peak period.
The landas is the equivalent of the monsoon in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
It brings torrential rain that can cause serious floods in urban and rural districts. — By STEPHEN THEN
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