Friday, March 25, 2016
No relief for Pulau Banggi and Pitas despite rainfall
Moderate rains lasting nearly three to five hours during the wee hours were experienced in the state capital as well as other areas in the west coast and well as east coast Tawau and interior areas of Sandakan.
Meteorologists said that within the west coast, rains occurred between 2am and 7.30am while showers were experienced between Thursday midnight and 3am, bringing relief to Tawau residents who were subjected to severe water rationing for over a month.
However, there were no signs of relief for northern Sabah folks in Pitas and Pulau Banggi where state relief agencies are beginning to send in water supplies as river sources, gravity water feeds and wells have all dried up.
Sabah Meteorological Department acting director Lim Ze Hui, however, said that the rain was not yet a sign of the end of the prolonged El Nino induced dry spell that has hit the state over the last two months.
Lim said that the relief was just temporary though they forecasted more rain as they head into the inter-monsoon season towards the end of March and beginning of April.
"We would expect more rains then what was experienced in February and March but it will not be that much,’’ he said, adding that though the El Nino effect was weakening, its impact would still be felt in April and May.
"There will be less then the normal rains," he added.
The dry spell has triggered bush, orchard and jungle fires in many areas as well as damaging crops and creating water shortages to hundreds of villages which rely on traditional water sources from rivers and wells.
Efforts are underway to send water by barges to assist severely hit villagers in Pulau Banggi and Pulau Sebatik off Tawau while water tankers were being deployed to kampungs that have run out of water.
By Muguntan Vanar
Posted by wikisabah at 3:55:00 PM