Long Wat now inaccessible due to bridge collapse, other rural settlements also threatened

Many bridges used by the residents in Tegulang and Metalun Resettlement Schemes are make-shift bridges built by timber companies. These bridges are slowly giving way.

KUCHING, Feb 6: The recent incessant rain in Murum has resulted in inaccessibility to Long Wat as well as caused two minor landslides at Murum Road.

Murum state assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon said Long Wat is now totally cut off, after the bridge at Sungai Lekasi gave way and became unpassable.

The 89-door longhouse has approximately 600 residents stranded with about 70 students unable to attend school since yesterday.

“The length of the bridge is only 30 metres. I appeal to the state Works Department (JKR) and SEB (Sarawak Energy Berhad) to assist in repairing the bridge as soon as possible,” Chukpai who had personally visited the road to examine the damage told DayakDaily over the telephone today.

He said the bridge has been damaged by the recent continuous rain.

“This morning, there was heavy rain and it is still raining,” he said.

Chukpai helps to ensure that a family crosses safely over the broken bridge over Sungai Lekasi. The bridge in unpassable to vehicles.

The non-stop rain is causing him to worry about the few bridges in the Metalun Resettlement area.

“All the existing roads in both Tegulang and Metalun Resettlement areas were previously logging tracks. The bridges were built using logs.

“A few bridges in Metalun area will collapse as the logs used for the bridges are rotten and may give way anytime if the rain continues,” said Chukpai.

If the physical connectivity were to break, about 1,000 residents of Long Menapa, Long Tangau, Long Luar and Long Singu will also be stranded.

“I was on the road with the JKR and SEB personnel. We went to the ground to access the damage of the road and see what is the best option to repair the road.

“Incidents like this have been repeating. I really hope the government will expedite the plans to upgrade these roads as soon as possible,” said Chukpai.

Meanwhile, Chukpai said as he was traveling in the area, there were already at least three minor landslides occurring along the Murum Road.

“This morning when I passed by, there were three sites where landslides occurred and half-roads closed. This is also one of my worries.

“I just hope the rain will stop. If not, I believe there will be more landslides along the road,” said Chukpai. — DayakDaily