407 homeless after huge fire razes resettlement longhouse near Bakun Dam

MIRI: A total of 407 natives have been rendered homeless from the Uma Bawang longhouse fire in the resettlement scheme near Bakun Dam.

The fire started at about 6pm on Monday (April 15) in the longhouse located in the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme some 50km from the Bakun Dam in central Sarawak.

The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department said 42 households had been affected, but added that there were no fatalities.

"There was an elderly woman who suffered burns on her body," it said in an update Tuesday (April 16).

The victims are seeking temporary shelter in neighbouring longhouses and in the Sungai Asap community hall.

Uma Bawang longhouse residents taking temporary shelter after their homes were razed on Monday.

They are awaiting further help from the state authorities.

The longhouse is one of 15 resettlement longhouses built in 1996 to house the natives uprooted by the Bakun Dam construction.

Sarawak Bomba firefighters from the nearest town of Bintulu needed two hours to reach the site due to the distance. Bintulu is 250km away from Sungai Asap.

Sarawak Bomba said the exact amount of losses has not been determined, and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Uma Bawang has some 120 families living adjacent to each other.


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