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Heavy rain causes Mt Kinabalu landslides

KOTA KINABALU (ANN/THE STAR) – Intense rainfall over the last 48 hours has led to landslides on Mount Kinabalu in Kundasang, Ranau, roughly 100 km away. These events transpired early on Sunday, June 23, with the first landslide occurring at approximately 1.20 am, followed by a mud flood on one side of the mountain at around 5 am.

Sabah Parks director Dr Maklarin Lakim reported that no injuries resulted from the landslides, which took place in the Ulu Sungai Mesilau area within the Kundasang highlands.

“The landslides were distant from the summit trail and did not result in any human accidents or damage to infrastructure,” Dr Maklarin mentioned when contacted on Monday, June 24.

Nevertheless, Ranau district authorities are vigilantly observing the debris that fell into the Mesilau river, which feeds into the Liwagu river, where the district’s water intake and treatment plant is situated.

“We are closely monitoring the situation at Ulu Sungai Mesilau and its effects on the river’s flow. Currently, the situation is under control,” Dr Maklarin assured.

On Monday, a video of a landslide on one side of the mountain during the day surfaced on social media. The video showed what appeared to be debris and mud rushing down the mountain.

Ranau Fire and Rescue station chief Ridwan Mohd Taib said they had not received any distress calls about the incident or tremors being felt in the area since before the landslide.

“However, we are monitoring the situation after receiving the video.

“The landslide and flash mud flood have not affected the nearby village.

“There is no road access to the area, which is located under Sabah Parks’ jurisdiction, so the monitoring is done using our drone,” he said.

Meanwhile, at 8am on Monday, the number of victims evacuated to temporary shelters following a flood in the southwestern Membakut district, some 90 km from here, had risen to 100 people.

Some 37 people from 17 families were moved to the centre after the flood the previous day.

A Sabah Disaster Management Committee secretariat statement said the flood victims were now staying at Dewan Selagon in Beaufort until the flood subsided.

The secretariat said continuous rain in Membakut since last Thursday, June 20, has inundated several areas with floodwaters.

So far, seven flood hotspots have been identified, including Jalan Lembah Poring, Kampung Baitam Baru, Kampung Ulu Baitam, Kampung Lampijas, Kampung Kayai, Kampung Jambatan Baru and Jalan Balai Polis.

Stock photo of a signboard on top of Mount Kinabalu. PHOTO: ENVATO