Malaysia: 'King Tide' phenomenon to blame behind collapsed school incident

ADIB POVERA New Straits Times 8 Jun 16;

BETONG: The high tide phenomenon, also known as the “King Tide”, unleashed its fury, triggering a landslide at a primary school with wooden structures in Spaoh here today.

A building, housing preschool classes and a surau at SK Kampung Buda, were destroyed when the buildings collapsed into the Batang Saribas river in the 3.30am incident.

The landslide also damaged other buildings at the school, which housed its Jawi, Quran, Arabic and Fardhu Ain (JQAF) classes; Standard Four to Standard Six classes; text books store room and nine units of teachers’ houses.

No one was injured in the incident.

The school was built along the embankment of Batang Saribas.

According to a preliminary report, posted by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas on his Facebook page today, security guards on duty noticed several building structures falling into the river.

The security guards alerted the police, who in turn notified the state Fire and Rescue Department.

A spokesman from the Betong District Education Office said there were 13 teachers and 73 pupils at the school. “The school session will not be affected.

Some of the classes will be carried out in the school’s computer lab,” the spokesman said.

Sarawak Fire and Rescue assistant director (operations) Farhan Sufyan Borhan said eight firemen were deployed to the scene, located 58km from the Betong Fire and Rescue Station.

Douglas, in a short video also posted on his social media account, said the state government is working with the District Education Office to ascertain the damage to enable assistance.

“Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem is concerned about the matter and has instructed and Saribas assemblyman Mohd Radzi Sitam and I to check on the situation and provide the necessary assistance to lessen the woes of those affected,” he said.