KOTA KINABALU: More Sabah districts are being hit by the ongoing drought with reports of crops being destroyed by fires.
Several hundred hectares of crops, including fruit orchards, rubber and oil palm estates in the interior Keningau district, have been destroyed by fires over the past week.
Keningau Fire and Rescue Services Department chief Mudi Pengiran said 10 villages in the district were affected.
District Officer Yusop Osman said among the areas affected was about 4ha at the Bunang mini estate land settlement scheme.
He said the losses could not be determined for the moment as the the natural disaster and relief committee was awaiting reports from the affected land owners.
Yusop said another 280ha of forests and plantations had also been damaged by fires, prompting the Fire and Rescue Services Department to carry out aerial water dousing operations in the area.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry had reported that Keningau was one of three areas in the country where temperatures had exceeded 35°C for more than 10 days consecutively.
Over in the northern Kota Belud district, officials there had received some 30 reports of padi crops being destroyed by the drought.
Kota Belud District Officer Gari Itam said they had also received another nine reports of padi crops, rubber and palm oil trees being damaged by fires.
“This situation is being experienced across the district including at Kadamaian, Usukan and Tampasuk,” he added.