KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob took time off during his first official trip to Sabah to mark Malaysia Day on Thursday (Sept 16) to visit landslide victims in Penampang.
The Prime Minister got a first-hand look at the aftermath of the landslip at Segumau Madsiang along the Penampang-Tambunan road, where three families from two houses were affected by the disaster.
Ismail Sabri, who was accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and state Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Shahelmey Yahya, also handed over contributions in the form of daily essentials to the 19 landslide victims.
During Wednesday’s (Sept 15) landslide caused by a heavy downpour, cars and debris hit and damaged the low-lying structures while 11 people were inside the houses.
Fortunately, only minor injuries were reported.
Another landslide at Forest Hill construction quarters claimed the lives of three persons, while areas around Penampang, Kota Kinabalu and Putatan were inundated.
The disasters occurred barely 10 days after heavy showers resulted in landslides that damaged hospital buildings here, as well as roads and other property, for an estimated RM174mil in total losses.
A tropical depression over the South China Sea triggered nearly six hours of heavy rain across the city and its neighbouring districts on Wednesday.
Shahelmey said his ministry is still collecting reports from affected districts’ disaster operations control centres to render the required assistance after the latest incidents.
“The Prime Minister expressed his wish to visit the Kampung Madsiang landslide area after our earlier briefing on the state’s development programme.
“I hope all disaster victims will remain calm. The Sabah government will render assistance where we can,” Shahelmey said, adding that this included the families of the Forest Hill victims.
He advised those who lived at high-risk hilly areas to be extra careful.
“According the Meteorological Department, the monsoon transition will bring a lot of rainfall in our state from now until November, so we need to be alert.
“We have also asked district councils and district offices to monitor the situation," Shahelmey added.
As of 5pm on Thursday, 37 flood victims remained at three relief centres – two in Putatan and one in Penampang.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also announced an allocation of more than RM18mil for disaster relief efforts in Sabah.
Ismail Sabri said the allocation totalling RM18,241,250 will be channelled through the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).