MIRI: Flood operation bases in the interior and in the mountainous highlands are being prepared and also equipped to face the full onslaught of the landas season.
Forward bases for the stocking of food supplies, medicines, fuel and flood evacuation and relief equipment have been identified in the remote districts as the rain looks set to worsen.
In the state’s northernmost parliamentary constituency of Lawas, the flood watch has intensified after several villages in Lawas district were hit by floods on Christmas eve following a downpour.
Lawas MP Henry Sum Agong told The Star yesterday that all village heads and community chieftains, including those living in the highlands, had been told to be on full alert.
“The District Office and committee in charge of overseeing flood relief operations have already identified several strategic settlements located in my area to be used as forward bases for the handling of flood relief operations and deployment of food aid.
“In the event of floods, these bases will serve as the focal point for the deployment of flood aid equipment and also deployment of essential food supplies to affected areas.
“Some parts of Lawas were flooded two days ago after a downpour. Some rural roads were also inundated by floodwaters which had subsided. The areas we are worried about are the villages located in Trusan (sub-district).
“The Bario and Ba’Kekalan sides are not as flood-prone as they are located on high mountains, but we are worried about the access road to these areas because they could be cut off in the event of heavy rain.
“The District Office in Lawas have contacted all the community chiefs, including those in the highland settlements, to be prepared for any eventualities,” he said when interviewed.
Sum said these community leaders had been told to look into the food needs in their areas of coverage.
They were reminded to also keep track of the fuel stock in their areas and make sure there were enough supplies at all times, he stressed.
Asked on the conditions of the logging roads so far, he said these access roads to the villages were still passable.
“On and off, there were complaints from people that some stretches were cut off for a few hours when the rain was heavy. However, so far, the rain has been irregular and not too heavy,” he said.
Asked whether any flights to Lawas and the interior highlands had been disrupted by the bad weather, Sum said there had been postponements and delays on numerous occasions but no cancellations so far.