Floods: More than 500 evacuated in Sabah’s Kota Marudu district

KOTA KINABALU: More than 500 people have been evacuated due to floods in the Kota Marudu district on Friday (Dec 31).

The 504 victims from 167 households were placed in two temporary shelters – Dewan SK Teritipan and Dewan SMK Tandek.

According to the State Civil Defence Department, the victims were asked to evacuate following the rising water levels due to persistent rains over the past few days.

This is the second time Kota Marudu has been hit with floods over a span of three weeks, with the first report received on Dec 12.

Kota Marudu district officer Alexander Yong said evacuation centres and the evacuation process started on Friday evening.

“I have instructed for the district disaster operation room to be activated and all evacuations to go on immediately as required,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has issued a strong winds and choppy seas warning until Jan 4.

Sabah Meteorological Department director Amir Zudi Hashim said the department issued a first category warning for areas in eastern and western Sabah as well as a second degree warning for Labuan.

A first degree warning would see the wind speed going between 40kmh and 50kmh and waves between 2.5m and 3.5m high.

For the second category warning, waves could reach between 3.5m and 4.5m high and wind speeds between 50kmh and 60kmh.

He said if a high tide occurs during these conditions, floods could occur as well as damage to semi-concrete structures built on coastal areas.

He advised villagers living in coastal areas to be alert of the current weather conditions and to take immediate action if the situation worsens.

In Tanjung Papat Sandakan, which is in eastern Sabah, an alert has been issued to its coastal villagers especially in the Sim-Sim area to evacuate if the weather turns bad.

Temporary shelters have been prepared to accept victims while villagers are reminded to keep their important documents and belongings in a safe place to face any eventualities.