Flash floods as heavy rain, wind hit Brunei

|     James Kon     |

HEAVY rains coupled with strong winds pounded Brunei Darussalam in the last two days, causing flash floods and landslides across the country.

The torrential rain and floods, the side effect of tropical storm Kai-Tak in the South China Sea, threw normal life out of gear in many parts of the Sultanate.

Flash floods and fallen trees caused massive traffic jams on many roads in the morning rush hours and damaged several houses across the country.

The Fire and Rescue Department was still compiling information about the incidents of flood and uprooted trees at press time.

One of the worst affected areas was Menglait. A resident in the area said, “This is not the worst flooding so far, but it’s quite serious. We haven’t experienced flooding like this for so long. Fortunately, there is not much damage to my home.”

A man wades toward a boat in a flood-hit area in Tutong. – AZARAIMY HH
Traffic jam at the Menglait area. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

Meanwhile, a landslide at the backyard of a commercial building in Jalan Tutong damaged a number of vehicles at a workshop. Mud and rocks from the landslide buried some of the vehicles parked beside a hill slope.

Light showers occurred across the Belait District yesterday morning, but there were no reports of flash floods. Low lying areas of the district such as Kuala Belait, Panaga and Pekan Seria remain unaffected.

However, the public is reminded to remain vigilant and contact the hotline 151 in case of an emergency.

The Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department said in a statement that the current weather conditions are expected to persist as a result of Kai-Tak in the South China Sea. This is likely to cause heavy rain and strong winds reaching up to 45km per hour can cause flash floods and landslides. Sea waves can reach up to a height of four metres.

The Department of Civil Aviation said it will continue to monitor developments of the weather pattern at the Brunei International Airport area to ensure the safety of flights and cancel flights if necessary. People who intend to travel abroad are advised to contact the flight information centre at 2331747.

Meanwhile, the Brunei Darussalam Maritime and Ports Authority (PBMP) said it is also monitoring the weather reports and will frequently inform sailors, especially fishermen and boat operators about the situation.

In case of emergency, members of the public can contact ambulance at 991, the police at 993, and the Fire and Rescue Department at 995. For complaint and enquiries they can contact 123 (Darussalam Line).