Prepare for the worst: Minister

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

TUTONG

THE Minister of Home Affairs has advised residents in Tutong district to stock up on food in case the floods worsen next week.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman said authorities would distribute food to flood-hit victims, but residents should prepare for the worst.

During a visit to flood-affected areas in Tutong yesterday, he urged the residents to follow instructions from the police, armed forces and other departments as higher rainfall was expected next week.

“Please follow whatever instructions given by the police and armed forces for your own safety.

“These instructions were given to ensure residents’ safety, especially on the closure of roads,” he said after attending a briefing on the floods management plan at Lamunin Fire Station yesterday.

He cited information that had been circulated in social media where a car was submerged. However, the driver managed to escape unharmed.

YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin also called on authorities to disemminate latest information on floods and weather forecasts to village heads so that the information can be relayed to residents and proper action can be taken.

The information should also reach residents not just in Tutong, but also in Belait and Temburong, where several areas in these two districts were also inundated, but conditions have improved, he said.

“However, the situation in Tutong has not improved and is still monitored. It has been more than two weeks now,” he said.

YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin also thanked the relevant agencies for their swift action in helping residents at the affected areas.

The minister later visited a family whose house was worst hit in Kampung Panchong.

For the past three weeks, Ingkarin Laie, 55, and his family had to use a boat just to travel from their house to the main road.

“The water had risen to almost two metres and the lower part of my house is submerged in murky waters for three weeks,” he said, adding that mattresses and sofa sets were all damaged.

Ingkarin said they managed to move electrical items and other belongings to the upper floor, but was not able to relocate the bulky furniture.

“This is the worst floods after three years. Rain and overflowing river caused the floods and I am afraid more rain forecasted for next week would make it worse,” he said.

Ingkarin said there are 10 people living in the house, and they had to share the upper floor as the lower level was not inhabitable.

“We were told to evacuate immediately if the situation worsens next week,” he said.

In a briefing during the minister’s visit yesterday, it was reported that thousands of Tutong residents were affected by the floods.

The Brunei Times