MIRI: A high volume of water is being released from the 210m-high Bakun Dam in central Sarawak due to heavy rain.
The entire riverine population living along the Balui River to Rajang River to Kapit town to Sibu in central Sarawak have been warned of the swift-rising river waters.
Notices have been issued to residents informing them of the start of an operation by the dam operator Sarawak Energy Bhd to release massive volume of water from the dam reservoir beginning Monday (May 11).
The Sarawak Disaster Relief Management Committee, in its latest updates on Wednesday (May 13), confirmed that water levels have risen below the Bakun Dam.
"The water level in the rivers below the Bakun Dam have surged due to the increase in volume, following the discharge from Bakun Dam.
"Some low-lying areas saw water overflowing the river banks.
"Some roads are flooded, but so far, no settlements have been flooded.
"We are carrying out ground checks in the settlements," said the committee.
Sarawak Energy Bhd have issued notices to local residents that water is being released from the dam reservoir because the reservoir had swelled to very high levels due to incessant rain.
Belaga residents told The Star that the river water current is very strong.
"Small longboat operators are being told to stop operating until the current subsides.
"The Bakun Dam office people have issued written notices to the riverine communities to exercise extra caution," said native Patrick Jok.
He said the safety of the people, especially those living along the rivers, is of utmost priority.
The Bakun Dam is located in the heart of Belaga district in central Sarawak.
It is connected to Belaga town, Song Bazaar, Kapit town to Sibu town via a 300km network of rivers from the Balui River to Belaga River to Rajang River.
There is a sizeable population of about 350,000 people stretching from Bakun to Sibu town.