A section of the Pan Borneo Highway feeder road in central Sarawak linking populated settlements upriver of the Murum Dam transformed into a massive waterfall after it collapsed yesterday (Aug 6).
The Vibes reported that this was caused by severe flash floods which hit the area.
The highway, which is located 300km from Bintulu town, is currently cordoned off from the public.
In a video shared by Sarawak PKR information chief Abun Sui, it showed copious amounts of floodwater flowing onto the highway from the nearby mountain slopes, where half of the highway had collapsed into the ravine.
Many likened the collapsed highway to a waterfall as the water rushed several metres down into the ravine below.
Many residents trapped
Sui added that many motorists and residents living in the vicinity have called him for help after they were trapped due to the collapsed highway.
“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 the areas affected include the populated settlements 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.
Sui added he had checked with a nearby Public Works Department at Kapit and that the department have since issued a notice warning others to stay away from the area.
Six-month repair period
Pan Borneo Highway Unit at Sarawak JKR Fadillah Redzuan told Free Malaysia Today that repair works may take up to six months to be completed.
He added that an alternative road cutting across a palm oil plantation had been opened up.
A study will also be conducted before a design to replace the damaged highway is unveiled.
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.
Sarawak has been experiencing severe storms which have hit many districts in the northern and central regions rather badly in recent days.
Cover image via Twitter/@thevibesnews and FMT
Editor: Sarah Yeoh