KOTA KINABALU: Already hit by mudslides following the June 5 earthquake near here, the Ranau district is now facing an acute water shortage.
The Sabah Fire and Rescue Department assistant director for engineering Felix Dunong said it was dispatching two 20,000 litre-capacity tankers to Ranau on Wednesday morning to deal with the shortage.
He said the tankers that, based at the Department's state headquarters, in Kota Kinabalu, left the state capital at 9am and was due to arrive in Ranau at 1pm.
Felix said the tankers would be kept in Ranau and used to transport water to affected areas within the district.
Taps have been dry in Ranau over the past two days after the district's water treatment plant was shut down as its intake point at Sungai Liwagu has been clogged up by tonnes of debris and mud washed down from Mount Kinabalu.
Universiti Sabah Malaysia geologist Dr Felix Tongkul, who visited the intake point, said authorities must clear a portion of the debris to ensure water keeps flowing through the intake point's sluice gates.
"The worry is that if the rains persist, additional mud and rocks from upstream will plug the gaps where water is still flowing," he said.
"If there is a total blockage, the situation will be dangerous as there is a danger that the sluice gates will just give way, causing serious flash floods that will affect villages downstream," Tongkul added.