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Typhoon Paolo wreaks havoc in Sabah

 | October 18, 2017

Fallen trees and floods keep rescue personnel scrambling to restore order as the tail end of the typhoon hits Sabah’s west coast.

sabah-ributKOTA KINABALU: Fire and rescue department personnel have been scrambling to restore order after strong winds from the outer edges of Typhoon Paolo felled trees, blew down signboards and damaged roadside stalls in Sabah’s west coast.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) stated that the typhoon, initially classified as only a tropical cyclone earlier this week, had intensified and will continue to strengthen.

Packing sustained winds of 120kmph and gusts of 145kph, it has resulted in considerable wind and rain all across the state.

On Wednesday, photos of fallen trees which blocked busy coastal roads in Likas and other areas in Penampang as well as Kota Kinabalu, were widely shared on social media.

Trees also fell on a couple of cars parked near the Sabah Cultural Board office in Kota Kinabalu although the damage was believed to be minimal.

Continuous rain since Sunday also caused boulders from a cliff to fall onto the road.

Several vegetable stalls in Kundasang, famous for their fresh produce, were badly damaged after strong gusts of wind swept through the mountainous town.

A fire and rescue department spokesperson said they received more than 100 calls within two hours today from members of the public requesting their services to remove fallen trees and rescue trapped pets.

“Most of these calls were actually from the same location around Kota Kinabalu while pet owners called us reporting that their pets were trapped after falling into drains,” he said.

In Kota Belud, the Civil Defence Force has been busy since Tuesday, relocating displaced residents after several rivers in the district overflowed and flooded nearby villages.

The location for the much-anticipated traditional open-air market called Tamu Besar Kota Belud, scheduled to be held in a week’s time, was also flooded.

The Meteorological Department has issued a warning on strong winds and rough seas on its website. It also stated that the strong winds were expected to continue until Saturday.

Sabah, which is fondly called The Land Below the Wind, is located south of the typhoon belt, making it susceptible to the devastating effects of typhoons that frequently batter neighbouring Philippines, such as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Sabah has never been hit by typhoons except for several tropical storms, the worst of which was Tropical Storm Greg on Christmas Day in 1996.

The storm left more than 100 people dead, with another 200 to 300 missing and up to 4,000 homeless.


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