SANDAKAN: A flood alert is on in the east coast of Sabah with water in the Kinabatangan River close to the danger level.
More than 30 people in Bukit Garam have been evacuated since Wednesday amid warnings of more rain until next month.
Kinabatangan district official Othman Taruddin said the 27 adults and nine children had been moved to the Kampung Bukit Garam community hall as floods hit several low-lying villages.
Warning that more evacuations might be carried out soon as the authorities were not taking chances, he said the district disaster management committee remained on full alert as waters rose to 12.5m, close to the danger level of 13m.
The situation was being monitored continuously, he said, urging those living in low-lying areas to inform the district office or police if a river bursts its banks.
Floodwaters continued to rise in the low-lying Bukit Garam town and people with boats started moving to higher ground from late Wednesday afternoon after seeing little chance of the floods receding.
Other areas in Kinabatangan which were closely monitored were Buang Sayang, Sinar Jaya, Kulut and Balat.
Sabah Meteorological Department director Tan Chen Kok said the current wet spell was due to the north-east monsoon and was expected to bring scattered downpours in the east coast districts of Sandakan and Lahad Datu as well as the northern Kudat area.
He said rains were expected to continue until early next month while a drier season could be expected during the later part of February.
Tan warned west coast residents to brace themselves for strong winds, heavy rains and rough seas due to a tropical depression over the South China Sea, which was expected to continue until tomorrow.
The condition is hazardous to all shipping activities, including fishing and ferry services, and coastal activities, he said.
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