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Thursday, January 5, 2017

10 villages flooded and 7 schools closed in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - Seven primary schools were closed in Sabah’s northern Pitas district as overnight rains triggered flooding in 10 villages, cutting off main roads.

The affected schools, involving 1,203 pupils and 131 teachers, are SK Pandan Mandamai, SK Sosop, SK Pinggan-Pinggan, SK Mandurian, SK Pinapak, SK Nibang and SK Rokom.

Sabah Civil Defence Department director Col Mulliadi Al-Hamdi Ladin said the situation, however, remained under control.

“Any further rainfall might require evacuation,” he said.

“The rains which started at 10pm last night stopped and we hope the situation will improve,” he said yesterday.

However, while the flood waters in some areas receded, in others, the water level increased.

Mulliadi said the 10 villages affected were Bilangan Besar, Rukom Ulu, Sinasak Batu, Sibaung, Kusilad, Pandan Mendamai, Salimpodon Darat, Pinggan-Pinggan, Indah and Dandun.

Jalan Ranau/Kota Belud by-pass
Mulliadi said the heavy rains also caused seven main roads leading to Tambilidon, Pinggan-Pinggan, Salimpodon Darat, Indah, Kusilad and the road leading to Pandan Mendamai and Layang Kanibongan to be cut off.

“Only bigger vehicles can pass through but even so, it is not advisable,” he said.

“The current is quite strong and the water level is quite high at between 0.5m and 1m.”

He said the water level at Sungai Kebatasan reached the danger level of 6.20m while Sungai Bengkoka was at 3.95m (danger).

A spokesman from the Sabah Meteorological Department said more rains were expected late evening in Pitas but the situation should improve today with isolated showers.

State Education Department director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said no decision had been made to allow students to return to school today.

“We need to look at the weather first,” she said.

Earlier, a spokesman from the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department operations room said various agencies had been despatched.

He said 140 people had evacuated to SK Rukum, Pitas, as their houses were flooded.

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