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MARUDI: The poor, and often total absence of, communication in rural Sarawak was amply magnified by a fire in the rural settlement of Long Bedian in Baram where a row of grocery shops, two generator sheds and two padi husking sheds of a longhouse were destroyed by fire.
The fire happened on Sunday evening but the Fire and Rescue Department was only alerted to the incident this morning.
This Kayan settlement up in the Apoh Tutoh region of the Baram district, is only reachable by 4 wheeled-drive vehicles in 4 ½hours from Miri.
The department’s state operations centre in Kuching, in a statement today, said the fire was reported to the Miri Fire Department via the Whatsapp social media application by the Telang Usan district officer.
The Miri fire chief then ordered a team of five men, headed by fire officer Zulbada Alior, from its Marudi station to Long Bedian.
They left at around 9.55am for the 4-hour trip that will take them on treacherous logging roads.
The department said “problems with communication” was the cause of the late alert.
There were no injuries reported.