Sabah Civil Defence gets hundreds of reports of snakes in buildings as El Nino intensifies

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Civil Defence officials have received hundreds of reports of snakes in both residential and business areas every month this year.

State Civil Defence Department secretariat and assistant director of operations, Mejar Zico Sual, said they received 452 cases in January and 376 cases in February.

He said from these cases, Kota Kinabalu recorded the most at 71 cases in Jan and 64 in Feb, followed by Paitan (36 in Jan and 28 instances in Feb), Tawau (25 in Jan and 23 in Feb), Sandakan with 25 cases each in Jan and Feb and Tungku with 23 instances in Jan and 19 in Feb.

Pitas recorded 21 cases in January and 15 in February, while Kota Belud had 19 cases each in both months. This is followed by Kota Marudu (19 in Jan and 17 in Feb), Tuaran (18 cases each for both months), Keningau (15 in Jan and 7 in Feb), Lahad Datu (16 in Jan and 14 in Feb), followed by Kinabatangan 13 cases in Jan and 10 in Feb.

“There were also cases reported in Beaufort, Penampang, Semporna, Kudat, Telupid, Papar, Ranau, Tenom, Kunak, Kuala Penyu, Tongod, Sipitang, Kalabakan, Beluran, Tambunan, Nabawan, Putatan, Felda Sahabat, Menumbok, Matunggong, Pulau Banggi, Pulau Sebatik, Kundasang and Tamparuli,” Zico said.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in all these cases received, he said.

With the hot season expected to last for several months, he advised residents and premise owners to be more mindful of their surroundings as reptiles would choose cool and shady areas to hide from the sun.

He also advised the public to refrain from handling snakes or reptiles and call the authorities for help.

On Feb 23, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad reportedly urged relevant departments and agencies to be ready to carry out large-scale fire suppression and cloud seeding operations to tackle hot, dry weather and the El Nino phenomenon.

Earlier, Meteorological Department director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said that the El Nino phenomenon currently affecting the world would continue until mid-year.

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