Wednesday, August 21

Outdated drainage cause of flash floods — Fire chief

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Personnel from Fire and Rescue Department wade through the flood waters at Eco Park.

MIRI: Miri is experiencing a very strange weather phenomenon where heavy rain hits the southern part and city centre but spares the north with only gloomy weather.

The weather was gloomy in the early hours until mid-day yesterday.

Rosey (left) joining Lau (right) who is assessing the situation at Tanjong Lobang.

Heavy rain which started to fall at 2pm, caused flash floods in low-lying areas in Tanjung Lobang and some section of Brighton Road, Eco Park near Miri Airport in southern region, Jalan Bendahara, Jalan Permaisuri, Kingsway and Brooke Road and Miri-Pujut Road.

The fast run-off on the roads slowed down traffic flow along the affected roads.

The Miri Fire and Rescue Department wasted no time in monitoring and assessing the situations, by dispatching two teams of 10 personnel each to Eco Park and Tanjong Lobang.

A man paddling a sampan at Tua Pek Kong temple compound in city centre.

Miri Zone fire chief Superintendent Lau Poh Kiong, when contacted yesterday evening, disclosed that the situation was under control as the waters started to recede at 6.30pm.

“Critical hours were between 3.45pm and 4.30pm where low-lying areas were flooded due to insufficient and clogged drainage.

“The situation at Eco Park is due to poor drainage system as the present system is unable to cope with the excessive volume of rainfall, while the poor drainage system which coincides with the high tide cause flash flood along Tanjong Lobang,” he told The Borneo Post.

The view from an apartment at Tanjong Lobang.

However, Lau said the situation was under control with no evacuation although the flash floods stranded some vehicles on the road.

Assistant Minister of Early Childhood Education and Family Development Rosey Yunus, who is also assemblywoman for Bekenu, was travelling along Tanjong Lobang on her way back from Bekenu to Miri when she met Lau and his monitoring team assessing the situation along the road.

“It is high time for the authority concerned to restudy the whole drainage system and irrigation system in Miri.

“It seems that the present drain could not cope and catch up with the development and progress taking place in Miri,” she said.

Rosey said flash floods seemed to be quite a phenomenon nowadays as it rains almost non-stop in low-lying areas. As such, there is a need for the authorities to upgrade the present drainage system.

At press-time, it was learned that Assistant Minister of Communication Datuk Lee Kim Shin rushed from Miri Airport on his arrival from Kuching around 6pm, to Eco Park to assess the waters in the area.