On Saturday (6 August), a section of the Pan Borneo Highway feeder road in central Sarawak linking populated settlements upriver of the Murum Dam reportedly to have collapsed following a severe flash flood that hit the area.
According to The Vibes, the highway which is located about 300km from Bintulu town is now totally sealed off from the public.
In a video shared by Sarawak PKR information chief Abun Sui, it showed the floodwater flowing from the nearby mountain slopes to the highway, where half of the road had collapsed into the ravine.
A section of road in the Belaga district of central Sarawak has collapsed after the area was hit by severe flash floods.— TheVibes.com (@thevibesnews) August 6, 2022
This video shows the collapsed section of the highway looking like a waterfall.
📸 Abun Sui pic.twitter.com/kZDg2lSpIP
Sui said he received urgent calls for help from motorists caught along the highway due to the sudden collapse of the affected portion, as well others in the vicinity.
“An entire section of the highway has been swept away. It cracked apart after being swamped by flash floods caused by water torrents from the nearby mountains during the past day of non-stop rain,” he said.
Among those affected included residents of Long Menapa, Long Peran, Long Tangau, Long Luar, Long Singu, Lusong Laku, SK Matalun, Long Wat, Long Malim Kenyah, Long Malim Penan, Long Lawen, SK Tegulang, and the numerous logging camps and plantation camps, he said.
Sui said he has checked with the Public Works Department in the nearest town of Kapit and the department has since issued a public notice to warn people to avoid the location.
Meanwhile, Pan Borneo Highway Unit at Sarawak JKR Fadillah Redzuan said the repair works may take up to 6 months to be completed.
He said as for now, the department had opened up an alternative road that cuts across a palm oil plantation.
Fadillah added that the agency will conduct a study before coming up with a design to replace the damaged section, which is about 300km from Bintulu.
“The design has to take into account the water flow condition in the area. After that, we will decide on a design and construct the damaged section of the road. Depending on the complexity of the work, construction is expected to take six months,” he said.
Sarawak is currently experiencing turbulent storms that have already hit many districts in the northern and central regions.