Thursday, May 15, 2008


Winds force aircraft diversion, delays
Roofs of school building,12 village houses in Kota Marudu blown off


At least one aircraft was diverted while eight other flights delayed due to strong winds and bad weather here yesterday. Malaysia Airports Berhad Sabah Manager, Aznan Othman, said the MH2616 aircraft bound for Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur had to be diverted to Brunei due to the violent weather conditions. It was scheduled to touch down at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at 4. 30pm. He added that as of 6pm yesterday, arrivals of at least five flights and departure of another three aircrafts were delayed by 10 to 15 minutes due to strong winds. “We had to divert and delay the flights for the safety of all passengers. It is a normal routine and practice for us during bad weathers,” he said, adding the diverted flights would resume flights to KKIA when the weather conditions improve. The strong winds and heavy rain in some parts of the State were caused by the tail of a powerful typhoon, Rammasun that battered Eastern Philippines last week as it was moving northward towards Japan since Sunday. It caused strong winds and heavy rain in some parts of Sabah coastal areas, including the State Capital Kota Kinabalu. The State Meteorological Services Department had recently issued a warning that the 70 km/hr winds on Monday are expected to hit the State again today (Thursday), and the public is asked to stay away from the seas as waves of 2.5 to 3.5 meters and winds of 40-50 km/ hr are expected to persist.
In KOTA MARUDU, a school building and 12 houses had their roofs blown off by unusually strong winds since early morning till 8pm yesterday. According to Constable Jamaliah Busri, the police station here received reports from 12 villagers on the damages caused by the winds yesterday. “We received among others two reports from two families residing in Kampung Lintasan Laut and we learned that those affected have taken shelter at their relatives’ homes while waiting for assistance from the Welfare Department. “Other affected villages include Kampung Sembilingun, Kampung Mongkis Malangkap, Kampung Malangkap Tengah and Kampung Malangkap Darat, Kampung Mongkis, Kampung Luntuk Pitas, Kampung Sapatalang, Kampung Sosop, Kampung Malangkap Kota Marudu and Kampung Kota Marudu,” she said. The SK Malangkap school building also had its roof blown off besides being badly damaged. One report was received from each of these villages, she said, adding however that no casualties were reported. She said it is advisable for the people to stay indoor due to the strong winds that would occur without any warning. The Meteorological Services Department has said that the strong winds and rough seas are expected to persist until Saturday.