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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

FLOODS FORCE EVACUATION OF 500 IN SARAWAK

KUCHING, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- About 500 residents affected by floods in low-lying areas in the Bau and Kuching districts here were evacuated to 19 relief centres this morning, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said today.

Dr Chan, who is also the state disaster relief committee chairman, said one of the affected villages, Kampung Suba Buan in Bau, had been flooded to a depth of 4.5 metres while two houses in Kampung Bidak in Padawan were damaged by a landslide following continuous heavy rain over the last five days.

"As soon as the weather clears, the relevant authorities will deploy helicopters and boats to bring food supplies and evacuate the 108 stranded villagers in Kampung Suba Buan and other affected villages which have been cut off due to impassable roads," he said when updating reporters on the flood situation at the state operations room in Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya, here.

"However, no casualties had been reported so far," he said, adding that the flood situation was expected to worsen later today, especially with the king tide forecast to rise to 6.1 metres and rain clouds hovering over water catchment areas.

Dr Chan said all elected representatives had been directed to go to their constituencies and assist in the relief and evacuation operations while boat operators plying the Kuching coast were advised to stop navigating due to low visibility and rapid currents.

According to the state Irrigation and Drainage Department, Bau, situated on a bank of the Sungai Sarawak, recorded 370mm of rainfall yesterday, up from 18mm on Tuesday, while Batu Kitang, also on a bank of that river, had 216mm of rainfall yesterday, up from 3mm on Tuesday.

-- BERNAMA


Dated: 11 Jan 2009 (Sunday) time in Malaysia

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