• Tropical Storm Kai-Tak brings strong winds and 140mm of rain overnight

• Temporary evacuation centre activated in Temburong District

• One man feared drowned, two others rescued from capsized boat

A residents of Kg Bokok, Temburong, grapples with the aftermath of flooding. Photo: Malek R. Hamid

Heavy downpours and flash floods wreaked havoc across Brunei on Wednesday, with 88 residents evacuated from their homes in the Temburong district.

The continuous rain coupled with winds of up to 50km/h caused damage to homes, shops and schools across the country, with landslides and fallen trees obstructing highways.

In Kampong Ayer, a boat capsized around 6.30am yesterday morning due to strong currents and high water levels. Two people were rescued while one man remains missing and is feared drowned.

The heavy rain began on the night of Dec 19 and lasted until about 11am yesterday morning, as Tropical Storm Kai-Tak swept through the South China Sea bringing wet weather to the north coast of Borneo.

Brunei’s Meteorological Department issued a red weather alert yesterday morning, warning people that the risk of flooding was widespread, especially near riverbanks and in low-lying areas.

The Temburong district was the worst-hit by the severe weather with 137 houses affected by floodwaters and 88 residents evacuated to two temporary shelters set up at the Mukim Bokok Community Hall and Bangar Community Hall.

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Flash floods inundate homes in Kg Belais, Temburong.
A landslide blocks the road heading to Kg Belais, Temburong.

The Temburong District Emergency Operation Centre (DEOC) said 22 villages had been hit by flooding due to continuous downpours since 7pm on December 19, which caused riverbanks to overflow.

The heavy rain also triggered a landslide in Kg Belais that caused one of the main roads to be inaccessible.

Personnel from the Department of Community Development were on site in flood-affected areas yesterday to provide assistance and basic necessities to the residents.

Legislative Council member for Temburong, YB Hj Emran Hj Sabtu, inspects flood-hit areas with residents of Mukim Bokok. Photo: Malek R. Hamid
A house in Mukim Bukok surrounded by floodwater. Photo: Malek R. Hamid

While the effects of the tropical storm  are expected to subside by Dec 21, a tropical depression over the sea is expected to bring further wet weather to Brunei from Dec 24-26.

Authorities encourage the public to contact the following numbers if they are in need of emergency assistance: Fire and Rescue Department (995), Police (993) and Ambulance (991).

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