Thursday, February 25

Flood: 89 families from Batu Kawa area evacuated

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Jugah (centre) speaking to Bomba personnel at Dewan Serbaguna at Lorong 5I in Desa Wira.

Temporary tents set up for the evacuees at Balairaya Kampung Desa Wira Lot, Lorong 10.

KUCHING: A total of 16 families (35 households) in Taman Sri Emas Tanah Lot in Stapok and 73 families (91 households) from Desa Wira Resettlement Scheme were placed temporarily in two evacuation centres as at 1pm yesterday.

According to Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Zone 1 chief Sabarudin Mohamad, the families were evacuated from their homes from 3am on Tuesday when the level water started to rise.

“Bomba evacuated those from Taman Sri Emas Tanah Lot to Balairaya Kampung Desa Wira Lot Lorong 10, while the Civil Defence Force (APM) evacuated those from Desa Wira Resettlement Scheme to Dewan Serbaguna Lorong 5I, Desa Wira,” he said when met at Balairaya Kampung Desa Wira Lot Lorong 10, here.

One of the flood victims, Semah Luchan, 52, said their home at Taman Sri Emas Tanah Lot started to be filled with water at 3pm but then the water receded before it was hit by a big flood at around 11pm due to non-stop heavy rain, which forced her to evacuate along with her mother, who had just arrived from Kampung Kesindu in Sebuyau, and her three grandchildren.

“By then, our single storey house was already filled with water flowing into the kitchen and the bedrooms. My grandchildren had to sleep in the car while waiting for evacuation at 3am. My husband came back from midnight shift today (yesterday) and had to clean the house but I do not think it serves any purpose as it is going to rain again,” said Semah.

At Balairaya Kampung Desa Wira Lot Lorong 1, temporary tents were set up, and basic necessities were delivered by the Welfare Department (JKMS) to the centre, including three main meals provided for each family.

Lamenting on the flood, Semah said this time round, the flood is the biggest compared to last year’s when they were evacuated and sent to a community hall at Jalan Stephen Yong.

Taman Sri Emas Tanah Lot community representative, Voon Ah Kok, said not all of the residents were evacuated to the evacuation centre.

“Only those families around our area that were badly affected by the flood were evacuated early morning. Those who are not affected are staying put as we want to avoid large number of people gathering because of Covid-19.

“We were hit by the flood between 10pm and 11pm last night (Tuesday), the water was rising very quickly, and around 3 o’clock this morning (yesterday) we were evacuated by APM. The long wait was because most evacuation centres were almost full, and we managed to get this one (Balairaya Kampung Desa Wira Lot Lorong 1),” he said.

He added there were about 23 families in Taman Sri Emas Tanah Lot, out of which 15 were badly affected by the flood.

Meanwhile, a survey made at Dewan Serbaguna at Lorong 5I in Desa Wira found another group from Desa Wira Resettlement Scheme evacuated to the centre.

Its KRT chairman Jugah Jantum said they were evacuated by Bomba at around 2am in a boat.

“By 2 o’clock this morning, the road to the community hall was not accessible anymore as it was covered with water, and Bomba had to transport each family in a boat to the community hall. This is the biggest flood that I have seen in my whole life,” he said.

He added that they were last hit by flood in 2016 when they were evacuated to a community hall at Jalan Stephen Yong.

On another matter, he said as of 1pm yesterday, the victims had yet to receive any assistance from JKMS, except for light meals and mineral water brought by Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) in the morning.

“They (JKMS) told me that they will be sending soon and we are waiting now.

“Last night, most families had to sleep on a stage (inside the community hall), and we are waiting for tents and basic necessities to be delivered by JKMS today,” he said.

Most of the victims may likely have to spend another night at the evacuation centres as the weather yesterday did not permit them to return to their respective homes.