Flood situation in interior Sabah improving

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - The flood situation in interior Sabah has begun to improve with flood waters receding, though low-lying southwestern Beaufort is still under water.

Flood waters in most areas in the Tenom, Keningau and Sipitang districts have subsided and all evacuees are back in their homes.

The situation in Beaufort was much better but still not safe for flood victims to return home. The disaster that hit Beaufort is the worst in 30 years.

Officials in the district said while some of the villagers had returned to their homes to assess their losses, 2,168 evacuees from 670 families had stayed put in six relief centres.

"We are monitoring the situation. It has improved but there is still flood water in several villages," Beaufort district officer Mohd Sahid Othman said, adding that many access roads were still affected.

Kampung Tuhu Lupak villager Rahman Jusli said the flood in Beaufort was the worst that he had experienced and had destroyed many of the things in their homes.

"Our fridge, television set and other household items are all gone," he said.

Rahman, who had gone on a sampan to assess the damage to his home, said Beaufort was flood prone but was not so badly affected in previous floods.

In the Tenom district, officials said the relief centres that initially housed some 500 families had been closed.

In Sipitang, the relief centres have also been closed while in Keningau, 326 people remain in three temporary relief centres.

Sabah Education Department director Jame Alip said 19 schools would remain closed as seven of them were still flooded, 10 had their access roads cut off by the flood and two are being used as relief centres.