KUCHING: Thousands of residents in Engkamop and Entabai were cut off from the main road in Pakan when a section of KM11 Jalan Pakan-Entabai collapsed early yesterday morning.
The affected section, estimated to be roughly 17 metres deep and 35 metres long, is believed to have been triggered by severe soil erosion brought about by prolonged rain over the past few days.
“Half of Pakan and part of Meluan constituency were cut off. Many longhouse people who went to church in Pakan could not return home due to the road being cut off,” Julau MP Larry Sng told The Borneo Post when contacted.
According to him, water supply in the affected areas was also cut off as the pipes were damaged by the landslide.
He added that he had also contacted Works Minister Baru Bian to seek assistance in addressing the issue.
“Sarawak roads are under state JKR (Public Works Department), not federal. All relevant authorities have been notified about the incident,” he said.
Sng hoped the relevant authorities would do their best to alleviate the problem as the affected road is the only access road for folks in the area.
“It (collapse) will easily cut off half of Pakan population (living) on the other side of the road,” said Sng, who was visiting the area yesterday prior to the landslide.
Pakan and Meluan assemblymen Tan Sri William Mawan and Rolland Duat, were also present at the site along with JKR divisional engineer Teo Nguong Leong and Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) engineers.
Acting on a suggestion by Mawan, CMS dispatched an excavator to the site to build a temporary diversion road.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that a pickup truck had barely avoided plunging into the crevasse, with its driver and a passenger able to exit the vehicle on their own.
Benet Janak and passenger Rantau Kelambu were unhurt but sent by passers-by to a nearby clinic for a check-up.