Indonesian worker slips and falls into fast flowing Moyog river

Indonesian worker slips and falls into fast flowing Moyog river
A vegetable seller walking along the cracked road in Penampang.

KOTA KINABALU - An Indonesian worker drowned in fast flowing Moyog river as worries of landslips emerged in the aftermath of Tuesday's flooding in Penampang.

Firemen pulled out the 26-year-old Indonesian Timorese worker who drowned while working near the river bank at about noon yesterday.

"He was with a friend harvesting sago near the river when he suddenly slipped and fell into the river," Penampang police chief Deputy Supt Ratan Singh said. The body has been sent for a post-mortem.

Meanwhile, some residents could not get to their homes.

They were stranded or forced to take alternative routes when a key road that linked Penampang to interior Tambunan and Keningau was closed late last night. Cracks were found on the road.

A landslip that occurred at the Kota Kinabalu-Ranau road around midnight also cut off road links till about noon yesterday.

A single lane was cleared for vehicles to pass through.

At the KM45.6 Penampang-Tambunan road, scores of stranded people had to walk along a stretch that had depressed while lorries were parked alongside, waiting for a chance to be allowed to pass through.

Tambunan farmers transferred vegetables onto other vehicles so that these could be taken to markets in Penampang and Kota Kinabalu on time.

Sabah Public Works Department director Datuk John Anthony said that the road would be closed indefinitely.

"Repairs and remedial works such as putting up a retaining wall or building an alternative route might take months," he said.

People heading towards Tam­bunan are advised to use the Kota Kinabalu-Ranau-Tambunan or the Kota Kinabalu-Kimanis-Tambunan road.

"There are no other alternatives available in the interim," John said.

In Penampang, families in at least 60 kampung and housing estates took a day off to mop up thick mud that flowed into their homes.

"This (breakfast) is my first proper meal since Tuesday," said flood victim Khips Gadungat, 34, who was with his wife and two young children at an evacuation centre at about 9.30pm yesterday.

"My wife and children were stranded inside our stilt house in Kg Penampang Proper," Khips said.

"It was under 1.5m water and they were only rescued at 9pm on Tuesday," said the driver, adding that he would head home to clean up the mess.

For Felix Steven, 42, of Kg Hungab, the floods wiped out everything in his house.

"And, that included my family's prized possession - a piano.

"That is the piano that I used to play while my mother sang," Felix said. "Now, it's gone."

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