Malaysia: Sabah villagers head for higher ground as river levels rise following downpour

AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 6 Nov 16;

KENINGAU: Villagers residing along the Pampang and Apin-Apin rivers here have been advised to move to higher ground as water levels are rapidly rising due to a continuous heavy downpour.

District fire and rescue operation chief Asip Kaidin said heavy rain since 3pm has caused Sungai Pampang to rise by as much as three metres. "Several houses were inundated. The flood is at knee-level and some villagers have started to pack and move to safer ground.

"We have despatched several personnel to monitor the situation at several villages, particularly along the river,” he said. Asip said for the moment, no evacuation is being carried out, but the department is prepared to respond to an emergency.

"(The water) is not at a dangerous level yet, but it can get worse if rain continues to pour,” he added.

Asif said that the department had earlier received a distress call about a van being swept away by floodwaters near Sungai Apin-Apin.

"We were told that the owner was washing his van at the river when the water overflowed and swept the van away.

"We could not retrieve the vehicle as we were unable to locate it," he said, adding that the rain has stopped, but the sky remains cloudy.

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