Flood situation getting worse in Sarawak

The Star, 21 Jan 2015

KUCHING: The flood situation has gotten worse with the number of flood evacuees rising in Sarawak, with the continued warning of more rains to come.

At 8pm yesterday, there were 10,532 evacuees at 54 relief shelters across the state, according to the National Security Council.

Most of the flood hit victims were in the south and north of Sarawak.

In Kuching, there were 7,337 people registered at relief shelters, with 2,079 more evacuees at nearby Samarahan, with 1,018 evacuees in the north at Limbang and another 98 evacuees in a shelter in Mukah.

In areas like Matu, where flood waters were about one metre above ground level, electricity supply was cut off as a safety measure.

Sarawak Energy Bhd said electricity supply was also turned off in areas like Limbang and low-lying portions of Lundu since Monday night.

“Our technical team is closely monitoring floodwater level at these affected areas.

“The team will only proceed to restore supply when it is deemed safe to do so,” it said in a statement.

Popular tourist destinations, including Fairy and Wind Cave Nature Reserves near to the state capital, have been closed due to damage.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department has further extended the “orange stage” heavy rain warning, which was first issued last weekend.

In the latest advisory, it said intermittent rain is expected over most of Sarawak until tomorrow.

The warning covers the area of Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Bintulu.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast in the afternoons from Friday onwards.

Yesterday, 32 schools were shut down, while 44 more were affected by floods but remained in operation.

A security council spokesperson said the rise in evacuees was believed due to water from catchment areas upriver.