Widow recalls close shave after landslides hit 39 locations in Mambong during downpour

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Nona looking at the damage to the living room where she was seated moments before the landslide.

KUCHING (Jan 19): The heavy downpour recently had caused landslides at 39 locations in Mambong including at Kampung Gerung, Jalan Puncak Borneo, where Nona Budis is fortunate to have escaped injury.

The 63-year-old widow recalled that at about 8.30pm on Tuesday she was watching the news on the television in her living room when her four adult children who lived nearby rushed into her home and pulled her out.

“I thought it was the sound of rustling leaves or just the rain hitting my roof, when my children suddenly came in and dragged me out by the hand. When we reached the road, I saw the lights in my house go out,” the widow told reporters.

The landslide had crashed through her living room, leaving more than a metre high of earth and rubble where she was seated just moments earlier.

Nona, who grows and sells vegetables, lost her husband to cancer seven years ago and she has been living in the house since 2005.

During a visit to Nona’s house this morning, Mambong assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said there were fortunately no casualties although some houses and road shoulders were damaged by the landslides.

The assistant transport minister said about 37 houses were affected by the landslides.

“Mambong is generally a hilly area. Everytime there is long heavy downpour, it causes landslides,” he said.

He said landslides also affected houses at Kampung Sadir, Kampung Perang and Kampung Karu, while the affected roads included the ones heading to Kampung Sadir, to Kampung Kiding and to Kampung Sapit in upper Padawan.

“The Public Works Department (JKR) will deal with the badly damaged road shoulders to Kampung Kiding and Kampung Sapit. It will take time and I hope the affected villagers will be patient,” he said.

Dr Jerip said Nona’s house was one of the most badly affected as one of the walls had collapsed.

He said effort was being made now to clear the landslide and repair the collapsed wall, pointing out that Padawan sub-district office was coordinating the repair works while some villagers were helping to clean the house through gotong royong.

Dr Jerip estimated that the cost to repair Nona’s house would amount to about RM30,000 and hoped that with the help of the villagers and donations from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as his service centre, the work can be done within one or two weeks.

“In fact, this is the second time Nona’s house has been damaged by a landslide. The first incident was in August last year,” he said.