King tide tears down Malaysian water village

Kampung Forest, a water village of several hundred houses, has faced the brunt of the phenomenon over the past few days.


December 27, 2022

KOTA KINABALU: Another 38 stilt houses collapsed on Sunday night, taking the total to 108 houses destroyed, as the seaside water village of Kampung Forest faced the onslaught of the king tide phenomenon here.

More houses could be in danger of falling as the high tide phenomenon was expected to hit again late last night.

Sandakan district police chief ACP Abdul Fuad Abdul Malek said a total of 70 houses had collapsed due to the phenomenon on Saturday night.

“The number of evacuees at the relief centre in SK Sungai Anib 2 also increased to 684 people,” he told reporters yesterday.

Luckily, no casualties were reported.

Kampung Forest, a water village of several hundred houses, has faced the brunt of the phenomenon over the past few days.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that a family of six who had earlier declined to leave the settlement had to finally abandon their house and spend the night in a car after the tide started rising on Sunday night.

Riden Abdul Mutalib, 43, said his family feared that the only bridge linking their house to land at Kampung Forest would be submerged when the water level began rising at about 9pm on Christmas Day.

“If the bridge collapses, we will be stranded in our house.

“Many stilt houses in the settlement had collapsed (last Saturday). There is no power supply now,” he said when met at the village yesterday.

Riden said the family chose not to be evacuated to the relief centre because they wanted to salvage more belongings, but security forces only allowed him to go back after the water level had subsided.

“We just removed whatever we could. We thought the water would not rise to this height again,” he added.

A villager from Kampung Forest, Zulaikah Ali, 23, said her family also chose not to move to the PPS but stayed at a relative’s house on higher ground.

She said villagers were worried about break-ins, which occurred every time the area was hit by a disaster.

Her house was not badly affected by the rising water, but the power supply had been cut off for safety reasons since Saturday’s incident.

Zulaikah’s uncle also decided to stay put to prevent looting.

With floods hitting other parts of Sabah, the number of evacuees in the state has increased to 1,626 people from 366 families as at 8am yesterday.

They were relocated to temporary relief shelters in Sandakan, Pitas, Kota Belud and Kota Kinabalu.

The state disaster relief management secretariat said among the victims, those in Pitas, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu were coastal villagers affected by the king tides phenomenon since last Thursday.

“Sabah’s northern Pitas district has the highest number with 745 evacuees, followed by Sandakan (684) and Kota Kinabalu (54),” it said.

The secretariat added that some 143 victims in Kota Belud district were evacuated after their villages were flooded due to continuous heavy rain over the past few days.

The king tide phenomenon also destroyed or damaged a dozen houses at Tanjung Aru Baru in Kota Kinabalu on Dec 22 and on Christmas Eve.

This continued on Sunday night with more residents leaving their homes as a precaution.

There were no reports of casualties.

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