Dry weather, flooding of dam cut off Malaysia's river transportation

21:08, October 19, 2010      

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Prolonged dry weather and the flooding of the Bakun Dam in Sarawak, a state in East Malaysia, has cut off the river transportation between Kapit and Belaga, two districts in the largest state of Malaysia.

A boat operator told reporters here on Tuesday that since the impoundment of the dam on Oct. 13, the water level at the upper stream of the Rajang River, the longest river in Malaysia, has dropped significantly.

He said the river connection had been cut off last week, with the situation worsening if the weather remained dry.

Belaga is located in the upper reaches of the Rajang River, some 120 kilometers northeast of Kapit. Due to its hilly geographical landscape, road construction projects are difficult to be implemented in the state.

As a result, many interior and remote areas are connected by rivers.

According to the operator, boats of almost all sizes have ceased operation now, while some other small boats owners are also cautious when deciding if they want to travel.

Experienced boat operators said that torrent and submerged rocks also threatened the safety of the boats when the water was shallow.

The Bakun Dam is the second largest dam in Asia. It will take about seven months and two weeks for the 69,000 hectare area to be flooded to the top of the dam wall, which is roughly about 44 stories high.

The situation is hoped to improve as according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the state is expecting rain or thunderstorms in the next few days.

Source: Xinhua


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