News: 2,000 in Sabah flee as rivers rise to danger levels

The Star, 21 Jan 2013

KOTA KINABALU: Nearly 2,000 people in Sabah’s northern Kota Marudu area have been evacuated following floods triggered by non-stop rain due to the current monsoon season.

The evacuees, comprising 549 families including 200 children, were from 14 low-lying villages in the district which is affected annually by the floods.

They have been placed at temporary relief centres at community and school halls, including at SMK Tandek, St Theresa school and SK Ranau in Kota Marudu.

Kota Marudu district officer Luvita Koisun said evacuation began on Friday after two main rivers – Sungai Pongun and Sungai Bandau – crossed the 8m danger level.

Among the villages hit were Kampung Ongkilan, Kampung Morion and Kampung Kedawaiyun.

She said they remained vigilant even though the situation had improved slightly as of 2.30pm yesterday with water levels dropping as rain was still expected.

“We have not allowed evacuees to return as we are still assessing the situation,” she said, adding that all agencies involved in evacuation and relief work were monitoring the situation.

Low-lying areas in the east coast Lahad Datu district were also hit by flash floods yesterday.