Sabah, Sarawak and Pahang bracing for floods


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 23 Dec 2003

PETALING JAYA: Three states are bracing for floods, following heavy rains and rising waters in several flood-prone areas. 

The Meteorological Services Department in Sabah, Sarawak and Pahang said the spell of intermittent rain was due to the North-East Monsoon. 

Sabah meteorological services director Tan Chin Kok said a tropical depression near the southern Philippines island of Mindanao might aggravate the wet conditions in the state. 

He added, however, that at this point, the low pressure was still a distance away. 

Reports from Beluran, Kota Marudu and Kinabatangan said large tracts of padi fields and oil palm estates have been damaged by floods, while scores of houses in low-lying areas were in half a metre of water. 

So far no casualties have been reported though a family of 10 managed to escape unhurt when a tree crashed onto their wooden house on Sunday, during heavy rain in Sandakan.  

In northern Kota Marudu district, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd had to shut down its generators after its power station was hit by floods late Sunday. Power supply resumed only early yesterday. 

In Kinabatangan, the number of villages affected has increased from nine to 12, with more then 1,000 people evacuated to higher ground as the Kinabatangan River level crossed the 13m danger level early yesterday.  

Sabah Public Works Department deputy director Anjin Ajik said there had been no reports of major landslips or cave-ins but engineers on the ground were closely monitoring landslip-prone areas in the Crocker Range. 

In Kuching, the state Meteorological Services Department has forecast intermittent moderate to heavy rain in the next 48 hours in Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman and Betong Divisions. 

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam has instructed the department to prepare a report every three hours for airing through the radio stations if heavy rain continued. 

In Kuantan, reports said strong winds and huge waves in the South China Sea would continue over the Christmas period, rendering the waters and beaches inaccessible to all forms of seaside activities and fishing. 

A spokesman of the Meteorological Services Department in Kuantan said that while the weather was expected to be overcast with intermittent showers, north-easterly winds had increased in speed and were blowing between 60 and 70kph. 

Rain would fall more in southern Pahang than in any other parts of the state, with strong winds along the coastal towns, she added.  

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