TUTONG – Floodwaters have subsided in most areas of Tutong but authorities and residents remain on high alert as rainy weather is expected to last until January next year.

Heavy rain on December 7 caused rising water levels and affected 47 families but evacuations were not required.

Twelve houses were flooded in Kg Benutan, Kg Kuala Ungar Benutan, Kg Kuala Ungar Rambai, Kg Panchong, Kg Bang Pangan, Kg Ukong and Kg Rambai. These areas are low-lying areas and prone to floods especially during the monsoon season.

The downpour also triggered two landslide incidents in Kg Ukong and Kg Lamunin.

Seven main roads were inundated and inaccessible to saloon cars, but receding floodwaters meant that motorists can now access the roads.

However, the road leading to Jalan Kecil Layong is still flooded, blocking access to homes. The Royal Brunei Land Force’s Second Battalion had to transport some residents from their homes via trucks.

The second battalion of the Royal Brunei Land Force transporting residents in Jalan Layong Kecil, Tutong from their homes. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a working visit to the district on Thursday to assess the damage and preparedness of government agencies in providing assistance to residents. Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) Mohammad Amir Hairil Hj Mahmud and Pemanent Secretary (Municipal and District) Salminan Hj Burut led the visit.

Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrin Mohd Hussain said preparations for the rainy season began in mid-September.

He said the Tutong District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) has been monitoring the water levels daily and Royal Brunei Police Force personnel are also patrolling the affected areas.

Tutong has eight temporary shelters that can accommodate 290 people located in Kg Ukong; Kg Lamunin, Kg Rambai, Kg Tanjong Maya and Tutong Town.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs speaking with residents affected by floods in the Tutong district, Dec 19, 2019. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar

Tutong DDMC has also identified the Royal Brunei Land Force’s Tutong Camp and Penanjong Camp as additional temporary shelters for flood victims through discussions with the National Disaster Management Centre, he added.

Personnel from the Department of Community Development have been providing food rations to affected villagers since December 13. Tutong DDMC also provides fiber boats as a mode of transportation for affected residents.

The Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department continues to issue weather warnings as heavy and thundery showers are expected, with the possibility of flash floods at low-lying areas.