MIRI: Parts of the deep interior of northern Sarawak have been hit by floods, a prelude to the arrival of the dreaded landas season, the state's equivalent of the monsoon.
Two remote native settlements – Long Runyin and Long Tepen – about 400km from here, have been badly hit, with several riverine longhouse units destroyed over the past week, rendering some 500 natives, mostly Penans, homeless.
The floods occurred after continuous rain caused the Sungai Pulutan tributary to overflow its banks.
The Miri Divisional chairman of the State Disaster Relief Committee, Ose Murang, said yesterday some 200 people of Long Tepen were being housed in classrooms in a nearby primary school.
“Urgent funds are needed to help them build a new longhouse. The one they were staying in had been damaged by the flood, with five individual houses swept away.
“The State Welfare Department is sending supplies of food, clothing and other necessities to the victims,” he said, urging the private sector to also contribute aid in cash and kind.
In Long Runyin, it is learnt that the settlements are also seriously affected by the overflowing river.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia field officer for Sarawak Jok Jau Evong said the Long Runyin people had sought help from the Long Lama district office and some were staying in makeshift huts away from the flooded zones.
The Weather Forecast Department in Petaling Jaya, meanwhile, issued a statement yesterday warning of bad weather in Sarawak and west Sabah until Monday.
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