Monday, August 15

Floods: 274 Pitas villagers evacuated

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KOTA MARUDU: A total of 274 people, including 143 children from 10 villagers were evacuated from their homes when the district of Pitas was submerged by major floods following continuous rains since Tuesday.

Among the villages affected were Bilangau Besar, Rukom Ulu, Sinasak Batu, Sibaung, Kusilad, Pandan Mendamai, Salimpodon Darat, Pinggan-Pinggan, Indah and Dandun.

Sabah Civil Defence Department (JPAM) director Lt Col Mulliadi Al-Hamdi Ladin said continuous rains since 10pm on Tuesday had  flooded 10 villages and the affected villagers were asked to evacuate their homes for safety reason.

“About 274 villagers, including 143 children, were evacuated from their homes due to the floods.

“Twenty-seven families were placed at SK Rukom Pitas while 36 families are taking shelter at a community centre in Kampung Bilangau,” he said.

He said nine other villages in the area were also inundated by flood waters when two rivers nearby, Sungai Kebatasan and Sungai Bengkoka, overflowed their banks due to the incessant rain since 10pm on Tuesday.

“The water level in Sungai Kebatasan was at 6.15 metres, above the danger level at 6.0 metres, while Sungai Bengkoka showed a reading of 4.0 metres,” he said.

Mulliadi added that several roads, namely Tambilidon, Pinggan-Pinggan, Salimpodon Darat, Indah, Kusilad, Pandan Mendamai and Layang Kanibongan were impassable, especially to small vehicles.

He said that JPAM would continue to monitor the situation and was prepared to assist in evacuation.

Meanwhile, seven primary schools in Pitas were closed yesterday due to the floods. Six of the schools were closed because their access roads were inundated while one was used as a relief centre for flood victims.

State Education Department director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said the schools involved were Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pandan Mandamai, SK Sosop, SK Pinggan-Pinggan, SK Mandurian, SK Pinapak, SK Nibang and SK Rukom with a total of 1,203 pupils and 131 teachers.

She said school heads and principals could temporarily close their schools due to floods by informing the department.