Sabah on high alert for flash floods

Natural disaster: An aerial view of the floods at Kampung Nampasan area in Penampang.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah remains on high alert after heavy rainfall over the weekend resulted in flash floods, landslips and damages to roads, properties and crops in nine districts.

Up to yesterday, some 691 people from 203 families in 223 villages were seeking temporary shelter at 15 relief centres.

While floodwaters in some areas started to recede, other parts were bracing for another round of floods as heavy rain was expected to lash down today.

Landslips along the main roads on the Crocker Range that links the state capital with interior Sabah have damaged several stretches.

As of late Sunday, Sabah Disaster Management Committee said 26 roads were affected, including 10 stretches which were damaged by landslips.

Penampang was the worst hit while some sections of roads in northern Kudat, Pitas, Tuaran and Kota Belud were damaged.

Landslips and cave-ins also occurred along roads in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu, Pitas and Kudat.

The Civil Defence Force said they were monitoring closely the ground situation as the weather condition was unpredictable.

At around 9am yesterday, firemen responded to a distress call involving a car parked at an eco-farm in Signal Hill which tumbled 30m down a ravine after a landslip there.

No casualties were reported.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who visited some of the flood-hit areas in his Sulaman constituency in Tuaran, as well as Penampang, have called on the people to heed instructions to evacuate if the need arises.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin also urged motorists to be cautious on the roads due to the floods and road cave-ins.

He said the Public Works Department (JKR) and the respective road maintenance concessionaires have been directed to take necessary steps to put warning signs along affected roads including Penampang-Tambunan road that saw a major cave-in.

The authorities also carried out urgent inspections on the Luyang flyover where a side barrier was dislocated, raising safety concerns.

State JKR director Ali Ahmad Hamid said an investigation was underway and safety measures have already been put in place.

For worst-hit Penampang, some residents have started to clean up their homes after facing two waves of floods.

Kapayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang said many areas including Kg Peringatan, Kobusak, Tunoh and Hungab, as well as housing areas in Taman Sahabat, Regency Park and Millenium Heights in Bundusan were badly flooded.

“There were also areas in Kg Koidupan hit by landslides as well as many roads left flooded and impassable, ” she said.

Some residents blamed the much-delayed flood mitigation programme for Penampang and clogged drains as among the key reasons for the district to be constantly hit by floods during heavy rains.

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