Mother and son separated by Penampang floods

KOTA KINABALU: It was the longest night for Christine R Amandus who was trapped at home with her mother and brother after floods cut off access to most areas in Penampang on Sunday (June 30).

“My son, Shane Ryan, the youngest of three, had to spend the night in the car after he could not return home because our access roads were inundated by floodwaters,” said the 51-year-old teacher.

Nearly 24 hours later, her 22-year-old son has yet to return because the roads are still impassable.

“At least, I know that he is staying at a relative’s house in Taman Penampang,” she added.

Christine’s two other children are currently pursuing their education in the peninsula.

While floods are nothing new in Kampung Dungkahang, where she has lived her whole life, Christine admitted that this time, it was the worst incident she has ever experienced.

“Usually the water would be at waist level, but this time, it rose up to my neck.

“The water was at least four feet high. I was looking out the window and saw so many cars submerged, with some roofs not even visible,” she said.

Like many others, Christine said she was caught off guard when water suddenly and quickly filled the ground floor of their double-storey house.

She said the incident had happened late afternoon, and by midnight, water was still gushing in.

“We salvaged what we could. My refrigerator and other electrical items are floating. I don’t know where the current swept my gas tank.

“My brother and son’s rooms, as well as the living room and kitchen were affected by the floods. Luckily there is a second floor, so we are putting up there.

“We are anticipating another wave of flooding if the rain does not stop. We are required to register ourselves at the temporary evacuation centre at the Sabah Cultural Centre in order to qualify for aid, but how are we supposed to do that when we can’t even leave the house.

“Maybe the authorities should think of another mechanism, like online registration for people like us who are stranded at home. Our data can be verified with the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK),” she suggested.

She added that while they still have electricity supply to the home, they lack clean water.

Christine said that apart from the damage, she also found that one of her puppies had drowned.

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