KOTA KINABALU - Floods in Sabah's low lying south western Beaufort district is still critical. The number of evacuees continue to increase even as schools and businesses remain closed for a second day.
Apart from Beaufort, parts of neighbouring Tenom, Sipitang and Papar districts were also affected by the floods which was triggered by heavy rains and compounded by high tide on Tuesday night.
A total of 33 primary and two secondary schools were closed in Beaufort, Papar and Sipitang. Some 5,455 students and 885 staff were affected.
Electricity supply has also been cut to areas where waters have submerged its substation.
Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has set up a 24-hour emergency room to monitor the situation.
There has been no report of casualties although a Customs jetty in Sipitang collapsed yesterday due to strong currents.
Beaufort district officer Mohd Shaid Othman said 1,077 people were evacuated so far from villages near Beaufort as well as Membakut as of 3pm yesterday.
"The situation is still bad. Beaufort town itself is under about a metre of water while in some areas, the water levels are up to 2.5m. Membakut town is also flooded," he said, adding that they remain on high alert as the Padas river had burst its banks.
He said over a dozen roads, mainly into villages were impassable.
Some 300 people were also evacuated in Tenom where four relief centres have been opened.
In Sipitang, however, some 78 villagers who were evacuated yesterday, have started to return home as the flood waters have receded.