Catastrophic Floods and Power Outages Hit Kota Kinabalu and Penampang

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Major floods, power cuts in KK, Penampang after heavy downpour

Catastrophic Floods and Power Outages Hit Kota Kinabalu and Penampang
Catastrophic Floods and Power Outages Hit Kota Kinabalu and Penampang

Severe Weather Causes Devastation

Heavy Downpour Leads to Major Flooding

KOTA KINABALU: On Sunday, June 30th, a relentless downpour lasting several hours wreaked havoc in the low-lying areas of Kota Kinabalu and the neighbouring Penampang district. The heavy rain, which began at about noon, quickly escalated into a severe flooding event that paralyzed the region.

Residents faced multiple challenges as vehicles became stranded on inundated roads. The floodwaters, which started rising around 1:30 PM, forced power outages in the affected areas. Compounding the situation was a high tide at around 4:00 PM, worsening the already dire conditions.

Social Media Flooded with Videos

Social media platforms were flooded with videos showing the extent of the disaster. Clips of houses submerged in water, people wading through waist-deep and neck-high water, and cars almost entirely submerged painted a grim picture of the situation. One particularly harrowing video showed a car being dragged by brownish floodwaters, believed to be at an apartment complex in Penampang.

Personal Accounts from Residents

Penampang resident Lester Dominic Mojiliu was one of many affected by the floods. He was unable to return to his home in Kampung Tanaki as the roads were impassable, even for four-wheel-drive vehicles. “I was told by family members and friends that many places in Penampang are flooded,” he said when contacted.

Mojiliu also shared a terrifying incident involving a friend whose wife and children had a close call when their car stalled while driving through the floodwaters. “The current was considerably strong at the time,” he added, underscoring the dangerous conditions.

Flood Shelter Stories

Veterinarian Dr. Randolf Paza reported that his area in Limbanak, Penampang was fully flooded, with electricity also cut. Dr. Paza and his family sought refuge at a temporary flood shelter at the Dewan Kebudayaan, salvaging whatever they could from their home. “I hope things turn for the better soon and not worsen,” he said, describing the flood as one of the worst he had ever experienced.

Adrienne Godfrey Johniu, operator of the Shelter of Hope, faced similar challenges. She had started moving her shelter cats and dogs to higher parts of her home as the floodwaters approached. “For now, the floodwater is almost at our doorstep. Please, I hope it won’t rain anymore,” she said, expressing her concerns for the safety of the animals in her care.

Power Outages and Impassable Roads

Willie Jude, who resides in Inanam, reported that his area also experienced a blackout starting at 4:00 PM. “Our main road, Jalan Kionsom, was not passable for all vehicles at 5:00 PM,” he said, highlighting the widespread disruption caused by the flooding.

Officials from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) confirmed that electricity had been switched off in all flooded areas, particularly in Penampang, to ensure safety.

Emergency Response and Rescue Operations

The Penampang Disaster Management Committee secretariat issued a statement indicating that several villages in the district were inaccessible due to the flooding. The Civil Defence Force (APM) assessed that Kampung Kolopis and Sugud in Penampang were completely impassable to all vehicles.

Multiple agencies, including the police, Fire and Rescue Department, army, and APM, have been actively involved in rescuing flood victims and ensuring public safety. The district’s Disaster Operation Control Centre (PKOB) has been activated to coordinate the emergency response.

Penampang district officer Francis Chong declared the district a disaster area in a notice issued at 7:25 PM.

Looking Ahead: Hopes for Better Weather

As residents and authorities continue to grapple with the aftermath of the severe flooding, the hope remains for improved weather conditions and a swift recovery. The resilience and spirit of the community are evident as they navigate this challenging time, seeking to rebuild and recover from one of the most significant flooding events in recent history.

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