KOTA KINABALU: Essential supplies including fuel are becoming scarce in Sabahs northern Kudat area and parts of the upper Sungai Kinabatangan area as key bridges have been damaged by swollen rivers over the past 10 days.
A 42m Bailey bridge spanning Sungai Bintasan collapsed a week ago and affected fuel supply to Kudat district as there were no alternative roads and heavy vehicles were unable to cross the swollen river.
Public Works Department officials have been working round the clock to fix the collapsed bridge and are hoping to have it repaired by Wednesday.
A spokesman said that private contractors were carrying out repairs and were monitored by PWD engineers.
The collapsed bridge caused a shortage of fuel after motorists made a run for fuel stock, forcing the three petrol kiosks in the northern Kudat town to run out of supply.
Heavy rain in the upper reaches of Sungai Kinabatangan washed away a steel bridge and forced 35 villagers to be evacuated, hardly two weeks after an improvement occurred in the month-long flood situation in the area.
The situation caused a communication breakdown, forcing fuel and food supplies to run low, while the Tongod district office was hit by a power failure due to lack of fuel to operate generators.
Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said a contractor had been tasked to repair the bridge, adding that he hoped communication links to the Tongod area would be restored soon.
Sungai Kinabatangan was at 14m, 1m above the danger mark, he said.