Labi briefly without power; Miri battered a day earlier
Kuala Belait - What looked like a mini "Frankenstorm"-like warning for the Brunei-Muara District passed without any major incident last night barring heavy showers, but residents living in the rural areas of Kuala Belait had to bear the brunt of the weather system that occurred at around 3pm, which left homes, including long houses, without power.
A day earlier, a storm wreaked havoc in neighbouring Malaysian town of Miri that left heavy damages to properties in its wake.
When contacted by the media via telephone following the storm, Head of Mandaram Long House Berandi Anak Jamau explained that the rain had been heavier when compared to recent days as the area has been inundated by downpour over the past few days. Yesterday's thunderstorm resulted in an half-hour power outage.
The biggest fear faced by 11 families numbering 57, he said, is the occurrence of flash floods and fallen trees due to strong winds that reportedly reached 50 kilometres per hour according to forecasts made by the country's Meteorological Department - that confirmed disturbance yesterday afternoon over the area - in a public warning that was extended to midnight from the initial 6pm.
Residents living seven kilometres away from Mandaram Long House nearer to the Brunei-Malaysia border, meanwhile, said dark clouds and heavy rain were "frightening".
Two days ago, 10 members comprising five families had a power outage for six hours, which they believed was the result of nature's wrath.
The Labi Fire and Rescue Department, meanwhile, told the media that rain in the area ceased at around 6pm and the Meteorological Department added the rural area as well as the Belait District as of last night experienced only light showers.
It was also confirmed that there was a 10-minute power disruption throughout Labi but no distress calls were received. However, personnel have been put on standby in case of emergencies.
The Natural Disaster Management Centre, meanwhile, said that they are currently monitoring the situation and will be on hand, along with other agencies, should their services are needed typically during cases when warnings have reached level two and if the Fire and Rescue Department throughout the country is in need of extra manpower.
Neighbouring Miri experienced a sudden storm that called for immediate repair works on infrastructure damaged during the incident.
Malaysian news agency Bernama reported that Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister, Datuk Seri Michael Manyin, explained that his assistant minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, had travelled to Miri on Tuesday to lead the ministry's assessment on the damages caused by the 1.30pm storm that "wreaked havoc".
"A disaster of such extent ... definitely there will be certain damages. As far as damage caused by a disaster like this, we cannot wait (too long to carry out the remedial works)," he told reporters.
"When I read the newspapers, I am shocked. I can understand how the people feel over there (in Miri)," he said.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin