Water rises in rivers following massive release from Bakun dam

The Star Pic

By Emma Victoria

VILLAGERS living along rivers in central Sarawak have been warned of rising water levels following the release of massive amount of water from the 210m- high Bakun Dam.

According to The Star, the entire riverine population living along the Balui River to Rajang River to Kapit town to Sibu in central Sarawak have been warned of the swift-rising river waters.

Belaga residents said the river water current is very strong.

“Small longboat operators are being told to stop operating until the current subsides,” said native Patrick Jok,.

He said the safety of the people, especially those living along the rivers, is of utmost priority.

Sarawak Energy Bhd has issued notices to local residents that water is being released from the dam reservoir because the reservoir had swelled to very high levels due to incessant rain. The operation started on Monday.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Disaster Relief Management Committee, in its latest updates today, confirmed that water levels have risen below the Bakun Dam.

“The water level in the rivers below the Bakun Dam have surged due to the increase in volume, following the discharge from Bakun Dam.

“Some low-lying areas saw water overflowing the river banks. Some roads are flooded, but so far, no settlements have been flooded. We are carrying out ground checks in the settlements,” said the committee.

Bakun Dam is located in the heart of Belaga district in central Sarawak.

It is connected to Belaga town, Song Bazaar, Kapit town to Sibu town via a 300km network of rivers from the Balui River to Belaga River to Rajang River.

There is a sizeable population of about 350,000 people stretching from Bakun to Sibu town.