More rain forecast, Tutong flood situation may worsen

National 2 minutes, 59 seconds

TUTONG

FLOODS have affected 1,283 residents and badly damaged 15 houses in the Tutong District, but authorities said the worst is yet to come as heavy rainfall is forecast next week.

Many residents were confined to their houses after water rose to almost two metres, with several roads inundated and inaccessible to light vehicles. Several landslides were also reported.

The worst affected areas are Kampung Benutan, Jalan Kampung Bangkuru, Kampung Rambai, Kampung Ukong and Kampung Layong.

The situation is expected to worsen next week where more rain is forecast to fall from Jan 19 and 24, said Fire and Rescue Department Acting Commanding Officer Md Shazwan Suhanie at Lamunin Fire Station.

“The worst affected areas are at the downstream, where the upstream areas such as at Nyamok Nying, Belabau and Supon only experienced quick flash floods,” he said during his briefing to the Minister of Home Affairs yesterday.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman visited several flooded areas in the district yesterday.

Md Shazwan said if rain continues to fall, other areas expected to be affected include Kampung Penapar, Kampung Tanjong Maya and other nearby villages.

Meanwhile, landslides were reported at eight villages: Kampung Piasan Lamunin, Kampung Kebia, Kampung Pengkalan Mau, Kampung Luagan Timbaran, Kampung Pengkalan Tangsi, Kampung Birau, Kampung Sinaut and Kampung Bukit Panggal.

Md Shazwan said officers at Lamunin Fire Station will monitor the flood situation and send their reports to the relevant agencies apart from making scheduled patrols to affected areas and offer help to residents.

Whenever there are flash floods, the fire station will act as the Incident Command Post and is operational for 24 hours, he added.

“We are the frontliners who will give immediate aid to those needed and liaise with the Tutong District Office for help, such as sending vehicles to help the residents to go about their daily lives,” the acting commanding officer said.

Meanwhile, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) sent three trucks to ferry residents in Jalan Bangkuru, Jalan Kampung Benutan, Jalan Sum Sum Kampung Panchong and Jalan Kuala Ungar Rambai from 6am until 9pm.

Another two trucks, one from the Public Works Department and another from Tutong District Office are also available to transport residents at Jalan Kecil Layong who need to commute to work.

Two catamaran boats from the RBAF are also on standby to ferry affected residents when the need arises.

Md Shazwan added that they also monitor all roads in Tutong and reported the level of water along these roads.

He said Jalan Kecil Kampung Layong was not accessible to vehicles as water rose to 0.95 metres.

Meanwhile, the Royal Brunei Land Force has set up five posts at strategic locations to be on standby if there was a need to evacuate residents. A total of 127 vehicles, including boats have been placed on standby.

Earlier, YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin was briefed on the situation by Tutong District Officer Wardi Hj Mohammad Ali, who is also the chairman of District Disaster Management Centre.

The minister was on site to inspect the situation and visit several residents who were hit by the floods at Jalan Panchong Kuala Kg Ungar, Jalan Kuala Ungar and Rambai.

He also visited a landslide area in Kampung Kebia, Kiudang.

The visit was also to check on the contingency plan and action taken by the National Disaster Management Centre and Fire and Rescue Department.

Other agencies involved are Royal Brunei Police Force, Public Works Department, Community Development Department, Electric Services Department and Medical and Health Department. - Harny Abu Khair

The Brunei Times

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