Wednesday, January 14, 2009




Mosinil Sidangkang was the first fatality of the flood which inundated most parts of the District sinceMonday and forced the evacuation of about 5,000 people from 60 villages to six temporary shelters here, District Officer Sapdin Ibrahim said.

Mosinil, 58, was fishing in Kampung Liu when he was swept away by strong currents causing him to drown said Sapdin. He disclosed this during a briefing on the situation at Pitas for Chief Minister Datuk Sen Musa Aman and
State Secretary cum State Natural Disaster Committee Chairman,
Datuk Sukarti Wakiman yesterday.

According to Sapdin, Mosinil was fishing with a net in the river at the village at about 10 am when he was swept away. “His body was recovered a short while later tangled in the fishing net not far from where he was last seen,” Sapdin said.

State Commissioner of Police Datuk Mohd Noor Rashid who was also present during the briefing confirmed that Mosinil’s death was the first fatality of the flood which has hit the northern part of Sabah.

According to Sapdin, the flood also caused the 15 schools to be closed down where six of the schools had been converted to temporary shelters for evacuated villagers. The closure resulted in a total of 3,407 students being unable to study until the situation improves.

The schools which were converted to temporary shelters were SK Pekan Pitas 11, SMK Pitas II Kusilad, SK Dandun, SK Rukom, 8K Pandan Mandamai and SMK Pinggan.Pinggan.

“Several roads including the Pitas-Kanibongan, Kota Marudu-Pitas were also rendered impassable, thus cutting off communication of residents in the flooded areas,” he said. He appealed to the State Public Works Department to consider upgrading the Pitas-Kanibongan Road and raise it as it is an important route for the people in the area.

Sapdin said the estimated damage caused by the second flooding was about RM10 million. “At 1pm, the water level here was recorded at 6.73 metres and was expected to continue rising because of the rainy spell,” he said, adding that the District’s natural disaster operation room was activated on Monday.

Sapdin said the first flood occurred on January 3 till 5 resulting in the closure of six schools and inundation of 30 villages. The flood water however receded a day later and situation returned to normal on Jan 5, he said adding that the second flooding occurred following incessant heavy rainfall on Jan

“We have no clean water supply as the water treatment plant had to be shut down and communication is down,” he said. He pointed out that the lack of a special rescue team hampers rescue operations in the District and urged the Police to increase the number of personnel there as the land for a police station has been identified and ready to be utilized.

Sapdin said the present number of personnel there was not enough to cope with emergency situations such as the current flood.
On the request by Sapdin for additional police personnel, the Police Commissioner said it would be done in stages according to the completion of the training programs.

“There is a need for more personnel in Pitas and we will give priority to the District,” he said. Sapdin also urged the State Government to build a fire station in Pitas to cater for all sorts of emergencies as well as to increase the number of rescue boats for the District.
He said should the situation become worse, there will be a need to seek assistance from the National Security Council to airlift food and basic necessities to the affected villages which are cut off from the main roads.