Kapit braces for major flooding

Cerisologo (centre) hands over an immediate food aid to an elderly woman whose rented house was affected during a flash flood at Kampung Baru in Kapit.

KAPIT: Kapit is preparing for major flooding in the division.

Kapit District Disaster Management Committee activated its operations room last Sunday (Sept 6) in preparation for any eventuality.

Flash floods, brought about by continuous heavy rainfalls in recent weeks, have hit schools, residential houses and stretches of road linking the longhouses in the division. 

In Kapit town, the affected residential areas include Kampung Baru, Kampung Muhibbah Bletih at Nanga Sungai Kapit, Jalan Hubung Rumah Panjang along Sungai Sesibau, Bletih Cargo Jetty, the lower part of Rumah Temuai, parts of SK Nanga Kain, SK Lepong Baleh, SK Temenggong Koh along Baleh River and SK Nanga Kebiau.

The flash floods have also hit part of Song, Ngemah and Kanowit. The floods were at their highest levels on Sunday evening.

The highest level of water was recorded shortly after midnight on Sunday. However, the water levels began subsiding in the pre-dawn hours on Monday, September 7.

On Monday morning, Kapit District Officer Cerisologo Sabut, who is the chairman of the disaster management committee, called for a meeting of all the relevant agencies including Kapit District Office, Bomba (the Fire and Rescue Department), APM (the Malaysia Civil Defence Force),  PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police), Kapit Social Welfare Department, Kapit District Council and Community leaders   at the conference room of the State Office Complex.

After the meeting at around 11 am, Cerisologo and the committee members went out in four-wheel drive vehicles to inspect and meet the residents of the flood-prone areas in and around Kapit town.

During the visit, he distributed immediate food aid of a 10-kg rice pack to each household affected by the flash floods.

Cerisologo told the press that the Kapit District Disaster Management Committee had activated its operations room at the Kapit District Office to co-ordinate with the relevant departments flood-relief work.

“This time around, the flash floods are due to continuous heavy rainfalls over the past weeks. The water levels along the Rajang River and its tributaries – Baleh River, Katibas River, Pelagus River etc — have risen rapidly, causing low-lying areas to be inundated in water,” he explained.

“Just now, we had a meeting to discuss the flash floods and the measures to be taken. We are on the ground now to monitor, inspect, handed out immediate food aid and also propose for remedial actions to be taken in the near future,” added Cerisologo.

He advised all residents in the low-lying flood-prone areas to watch out for the floods. 

Children, he added, should refrain from playing in the water since the water currents were strong.

“Those using river transport need to be extra careful and ensure the boats they are using are in good condition and equipped with the life jackets and emergency kits like long poles and ropes,” said Cerisologo.

The Kapit District Officer also advised community leaders and village headmen to inform their subordinates that the operation room had been activated and those affected by floods, could contact the operations room at telephone number 084 – 796 322.