Flood-hit Lawas Airport closed

Published on : Thursday, December 5, 2019

Lawas Airport in northern Sarawak has been closed down after runway and airport complex were flooded due to non-stop heavy rain that started from Tuesday night.




Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, which has issued a closure notice of the airport, will decide how long the airport will be shut down.




Floodwaters have reached the airstrip and the interior of the airport complex. The extent of damages is not known. It will be known once the flood subsides.




Both Lawas and Trusan rivers swelled up after continuous heavy rain on Tuesday. Passengers were seen stranded as the airport closed during the afternoon. Many shopkeepers were found scrambling to save their goods, while those living in low-lying areas were worried about their safety and losses.




The airport was temporarily closed at about 2 pm as floodwaters went up to the stairs of the small terminal building, and its closure affected four flights. Four earlier fights in the morning were not affected due to this.




The district disaster relief and coordination committee said that it was monitoring the situation.



It claimed that it mobilised personnel to flood-hit and flood-prone areas to give a helping hand.



Meanwhile, the road at Kampung Siang Siang was cut off by flash flood on Tuesday morning and the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) personnel had rushed there to give assistance.




Among the other areas which got submerged under floodwaters include Kampung Seberang Kedai across Lawas town, low-lying areas in Sundar, and the road linking Sundar to Lawas.




Low-lying areas in Merapok near the border area also suffered flash flood due to the overflowing Sungai Sindumin in Sabah.




Many cellular phone users said there was a disturbance in their network as the inclement weather wreaked havoc on telecommunication services.




Lawas district is home to around about 50,000 people.




Lawas Airport, which happens to be an important rural-link airport, serves the deep interior settlements of Bario and Bakelalan.




Apart from Lawas Airport, four populated villages in Lawas district were also flooded.




Kpg Siang Siang, Ulu Merapok, Kpg Luangan, Kpg have been submerged in water by nearly a metre of water in some places.




Many roads to villages have also been cut off by floods in Lawas.




Miri, Baram, Tinjar and Limbang districts have already been hit by floods since the start of the week.





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