Heavy rain, strong winds wreak havoc in Labuan

LABUAN: Torrential rain fuelled by strong winds continue to wreak havoc on the duty-free-island, with dozens of villages inundated by water and experiencing power cut for hours since last Friday.

Many trees along the roadside were uprooted while the rooftop of nine houses at seven villages and a sundry shop at Kg Lajau were also blown off. The affected villages were Sg Miri, Batu Arang, Bukit Kuda, Kg Lajau, Kg Belukut, Kg Bukit Kalam and Kg Tg Aru. No casualties have been reported so far.

Labuan Fire and Rescue Department director who joined the rescue and emergency operation said the department received more than 200 emergency calls over weather-related incidents.

"We have responded to emergency calls over falling trees on houses, vehicles and on main roads … and we have deployed our personnel to the ground to check the situation and offer assistance where required," he told Bernama when met.

Member of Parliament for Labuan Datuk Rozman Isli commended the close cooperation among government agencies in the rescue and emergency operations including Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).

He advised the fishing community to constantly update themselves on the weather and seek advice from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency before deciding to go out to sea.

Meanwhile, SESB is working around the clock to restore power to the affected areas.

"Our men are still at the sites including several villages to check on areas with power disruption," said its Labuan manager Zalifah Jarman.

The Labuan Parliament Office community service centre is working together with government agencies such as Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council and Labuan Corporation to render aid to the victims.
"We have visited the affected areas, assistance will be channelled soon," said its chief Basran Yunus.

Labuan Airport manager Ahmad Fikri Samsudin issued a statement confirming that bad weather and abnormal cross wind (gusting wind) caused some portion of the terminal's roof at the departure hall and public area to peel off.

"Thus, while waiting for the temporary and permanent repair work to be carried out, all departure flow will be shifted to International Departure Hall for Malaysia Airlines, Maswings and AirAsia, and airport staff will guide passengers accordingly," he said. — Bernama