No respite for interior Sabah district as rain persists

KOTA KINABALU - Persistent rain in Sabah's interior is worrying officials in Beaufort despite water levels dropping slightly in some parts of the district.

District officials were hoping the rain would stop so that the situation there could improve, said Beaufort MP Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.

Azizah, who is Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, said the water levels had gone down slightly in some parts of the district over the past 24 hours.

"However, there are areas that are just beginning to flood. So, it is still worrying especially with signs of more rain to come," she said after distributing food supplies to dozens of families stranded in their homes at Kampung Pintas and Kampung Klias Baru in Beaufort.

She said 1,400 people had been evacuated to five relief centres around the district.

Beaufort residents said the water level was up to three metres in certain parts of the town area but had since receded to about two metres.

They said most of the flooded parts of the district were accessible by boat only.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ali Hamsa have flown to Beaufort to assess the flood situation there.

Together with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Shahidan had also visited the flood-hit districts of Keningau and Tenom on Friday.

Musa said the state disaster committee would help those affected by the severe flooding in Beaufort, Keningau (Sook) and Tenom by distributing food supplies and basic necessities.

He had also directed relevant authorities such as the police, Royal Malaysian Air Force and Sabah Air to help deliver food and basic necessities to areas not accessible by road.

In a related development, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap said 36 schools in the flooded districts remained closed.

She said her ministry would provide financial aid to schools that had been damaged by the floods.