Flooding in inner, rural Belait under control

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FLOODING in inner, rural Belait is now limited to the compounds of a few residences located in low-lying areas or nearby rivers, according to Belait’s District Emergency Operations Centre (DEOC) yesterday.

The Belait District Officer Hj Haris Othman yesterday said that daily reports of rural Belait, taken by the Sg Liang Fire Station, indicated that water levels have begun to recede in most areas, with the main roads in the district largely unaffected.

None of the houses affected by flooding have been damaged, according to the Fire and Rescue Department, as residents had earlier made modifications to their property and daily routines to mitigate any losses.

“Areas in inner, rural Belait, which are close to rivers or are in low-lying areas that are prone to floods are constructed on stilts to deal with regular periods of heavy rain and prevent flooding into the house,” said the District Officer.

For an example, he said that the Bukit Puan long house, built on stilts, already has boats prepared the year round to ferry residents to a small car park area located less than 50 meters away, in case of flooding.

In the past two weeks areas in Mukim Sukang charted the highest water level in the district, but water levels have been since receding gradually.

As many as 19 life jackets have been supplied by DEOMC to school children and teachers in Sukang primary school for their travel by boat. The fuel has also been provided.

Supplies of daily necessities have been set aside by DEOMC in the event the residents are not able to access supplies, with the activation of an Incident Command Post (ICP) readied if water levels continue to chart an increase.

“Based on consultations with the Fire and Rescue Department, the setting up of an ICP is not needed at this point in time; but we will continuously review if it needs to be,” said Hj Haris.

DEOC has also sent a boat to a resident from Kg Sg Mau, Zaini Hj Mohd Ramli, for him to reach his car and send his children to school. The father of five, whose own boat is damaged and unsafe for use, was also lent seven life jackets.

Areas in inner, rural Belait have regularly flooded in the past during seasons of heavy rain.

Last year the District Disaster Management Centre activated the ICP in late December after days of heavy downpour caused flash floods in several areas in the district.

The Brunei Times