KUCHING - The number of flood victims evacuated in Sarawak increased dramatically overnight, reaching 3,201 individuals by 7am Monday, with rescuers expecting more.
The incessant downpour, which started over the weekend, has left many low-lying areas in the south of the state inundated with water. Since midnight Sunday, the number evacuees has tripled.
According to the National Security Council (NSC), 39 relief centres had been opened state-wide by Monday morning, 22 in the Kuching division alone.
"More than 2,000 of the evacuated are from Kuching and the surrounding areas," said Salihin Annuar, the state NSC assistant secretary.
"From my evaluation, I think it is a possibility that the numbers will increase today, because the rain has not stopped yet," he added.
The Meteorological Department's "orange" alert warning remained in effect. Salihin said the warning, covering Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Bintulu, has not been extended.
The council's early morning reports indicated that nine roads were closed and four minor landslides have occurred.
"Except from the capsized longboat in Mukah, there have been no deaths reported so far," Salihin said.
In the Mukah incident last week, a boat overturned due to swift currents, leaving a 17-year-old still missing. The missing passenger is Atikah Rosli of Kampung Tanjung. Other passengers and the boat operator swam to safety.
Search and rescue efforts for the lost girl resumed at 6.30am Monday.