It rained in Sabah but not enough to beat drought

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Mar 2016

KOTA KINABALU: Rain in parts of Sabah early Friday brought some relief to residents affected by water rationing but not to those in areas severely hit by the drought in Pulau Banggi and Pitas peninsular.

Moderate rains lasting three to five hours fell in the state capital as well as other areas in the west coast and east coast Tawau and interior areas of Sandakan.

However, no rain fell in Pulau Banggi and Pitas where state relief agencies are supplying water as the rivers and wells have dried up.

Sabah Meteorological Department acting director Lim Ze Hui said the rains were not yet a sign of the end of the prolonged El Nino effect which had induced the dry spell across the state over the last two months.

Lim said the rains were temporary although more rain were forecasted during the inter-monsoon season towards the end of March and beginning of April.

"We would expect more rains than what was experienced in February and March but it will not be that much,’’ he said in explaining that though the El Nino effect was weakening but could still be felt in April and May.

The dry spell has triggered bush, orchard and jungle fires in many areas and damaged crops apart from creating water shortages to hundreds of villages relying on rivers and wells.

Efforts are underway to send water by barges to assist villagers in Pulau Banggi and Pulau Sebatik off Tawau while water tankers were being deployed to kampungs that have run out of water.

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