LABUAN, Jan 12 – Continuous rain caused flashfloods in some villages in the duty free island here, causing panic among residents in the wee hours Sunday night. The villagers of Simpang 20 Batu Manikar and Pohon Batu had feared that their houses would be inundated, as had happened before.
Certain parts in the villages were badly flooded after a section of the monsoon drain embankment collapsed, sending water pouring into the low-lying areas. Kg Batu Manikar village head Ismail Samad confirmed four houses were badly affected. He warned residents to brace for forest runoff, mudslides and strong waves as the village is near a hilly area and the sea.
Labuan Fire and Rescue director Zainal Madasin together with about 20 personnel, and officers from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage visited the affected villages today. He said several parts at Simpang 20, Batu Manikar were hit by the flashfloods when the water started rising around 10 pm on Sunday.
He hoped the local authority would monitor hill cutting activities that could potentially cause mudslides and landslides. Labuan Corporation CEO Datuk Nadzri Osman said village heads had been reminded to hold ‘gotong royong’ in their respective areas to minimise incidence of flashfloods.
“It is barely two weeks that I held a meeting with village heads about clearing up the ditches and monsoon drain to prevent flashfloods,” he said. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has issued a warning on strong winds and rough seas over the waters off Labuan including oil rig areas. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has also issued a reminder to all ships to proceed with caution and for small boats to remain ashore during this period.