7,000 stranded by floods in Sarawak

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7,000 stranded by floods in Sarawak
An aerial view of a longhouse marooned by floods in Ulu Baram taken.

MIRI, Sarawak - Flood relief operations are in full swing as emergency food aid is being rushed to the interior north of Sarawak.

This follows the worsening situation in Ulu Baram, where access for some 7,000 people had been cut off as rain continues.

Several residents from the Marudi district and Long Lama sub-district have called The Star, saying they needed food supply.

The division's Welfare Department head Goh Yong Kiat confirmed that it had received appeals for food aid from residents across Baram.

As of yesterday afternoon, he said at least 28 longhouses had been affected by floods.

"We have sent food to 21 of the 28 longhouses and we are arranging for the others. The deployed assistance will help at least 985 families," Goh said, adding that they were liaising with Marudi's district office, which oversees the operations.

Goh said Ulu Baram had been inundated since Dec 22, with some longhouses recording water levels rising over one metre.

In Kuching, heavy rain coupled with high tide caused Bintulu in central Sarawak to be inundated, a rare occurrence for the town.

The rain, which began after noon yesterday, caused several low-lying areas along the coastline to be swamped some two hours later.

By 5pm, flood waters had reach major parts of the inner city.

Among the affected areas were Kampung Assyakirin and Kampung Kemunting.

Kidurong assemblyman Chiew Chin Sing said floods were still being reported in residential areas further away from the coast, while electricity was cut off.

Many netizens noted that it was rare for Bintulu to be flooded, even when other towns in Sarawak were known to be flood prone.

According to the Meteorological Department, Bintulu has received 373mm of rainfall since Dec 1, including a whopping 134mm reported on Dec 23 alone.

It also issued a second category warning for strong winds and rough seas expected for thunderstorms in the waters off Sarawak, affecting Rejang, Mukah and Bintulu.

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