Sarawak floods cause widespread damage, emergency food aid being deployed

MIRI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Devastating floods have caused widespread damage in northern and central Sarawak over the past two days.

In Long Busang settlement in the Belaga district some 500km south of Miri, many houses were toppled and properties damaged.

Long Busang is located in the vast Hulu Rejang parliamentary constituency.

Its PKR branch chairman, Mr Abun Sui, told The Star that the 1,000 plus people in Long Busang saw floods that reached about 5m at one stage.

"There are serious damages to homes and properties due to the severity of the floods... They need help from the outside world to recover from this disaster," he said.

The State Disaster Relief Committee, in the meantime, is coordinating the deployment of emergency food aid from Belaga town to Long Busang.

The river trip to Long Busang takes about three hours.

Consignments of food and drinking water are being sent to the flood victims, who have been relocated to higher ground.

State Disaster Relief Committee secretariat chief Major Ismail Mahedin said numerous agencies are handling the food-aid relief.

They include the Welfare Department, Bomba Sarawak, Civil Defence Department, Belaga District Office, police and political offices.

In the interior northern Sarawak, the flood-hit districts of Baram and Tinjar are also seeing flood-relief operations being carried out.

Long Loyang in Baram is the worst-hit, while Ulu Teru in Tinjar is badly affected.

Long Loyang is six hours by timber road from Miri. Ulu Teru is about four hours by road from Miri.

Bomba Sarawak, in its latest updates, said the floods in this northern districts are showing signs of receding.

The residents in the longhouses have not been evacuated yet, despite their homes being hit by a metre of floods.

They have moved to the upper floor of their longhouses.