BY BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
PENAMPANG: Working feverishly through dim lighting, contractors from the Public Works Department late Friday night managed to clear up a single lane for traffic to move after a landslide put a stop to movement along the Jalan Penampang-Tambunan trunk road.
And most, if not all of the 110 students of SMK Peter Mojuntin stranded due to floods that hit the district after a heavy mid-afternoon downpour, were able to go home by midnight, after the waters receded and their parents managed to get them back.
For scores of Kota Belud residents, it was the second straight day of heavy rainfall and even more floods, and more cleaning up.
The heavy rain had caused landslide near Notorus-Rugading at around 4 pm, cutting off the Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan road link, as an 80-metre stretch of the road was covered with mud and debris.
Traffic at both ends came to a standstill and only managed to get moving when one lane was cleared.
A PWD spokesman said they would try their best to clear the remaining debris to enable normal flow of traffic as soon as possible, but he urged motorists to be patient and careful when using that stretch.
The landslide also toppled several electricity cables, disrupting power supply to several villages in Penampang.
Among the affected villages after the Moyog and Babagon rivers burst its banks were Nampasan, Kambau, Sugud, Penampang Proper, Kolopis and Kibabaig.
Terrence Siambun, the Moyog Assemblyman, whose family house at Tuavon was flooded by two and a half feet of water late evening, said many families were affected by the floods this time.
“We were more concerned about the SMK Peter Mojuntin students who could not go home and were forced to put up the night at the school hall, but I was made to understand that many parents came to take their children back around midnight,” he said.
Brian Matasing, the Penampang district native chief was quoted as saying the heavy rain in the upstream area had caused flood waters to flow down the Moyor river.
“The heavy rain started at 1.30pm and it became worse when the river water spilled over and submerged several roads and villages.
“There was a long queue of vehicles as several roads in low-lying areas were impassable,” he was reported saying.
Based on a statement by the Sabah Civil Defence (APM) three roads – Jalan Kampung Kambau, Jalan Jambatan Kolopis, and Jalan Kibabaig – remained impassable by small vehicles as at 5.30pm, but was back to normal later that night.
“The department is monitoring the situation particularly at flood-prone locations. Two schools namely SK St Joseph and SK Sugut were also affected,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile low lying villages were also affected by floods brought by heavy rains in Kota Belud since Thursday.
The 13 affected villages were Siasai, Bobot, Ejuk, Menunggui, Kampung Kota Belud, Linau, Gunding, Sembirai, Lingkodon, Tanjung Pasir, Wakap, Labuan and Taun Gusi Keranjangan.