Second fire in S’wak in one month (UPDATED)

MIRI: Some 700 people from Rumah Banyang in interior Miri were left homeless after fire razed their longhouse at 1am on Monday.

No casualties have been reported.

This is the second major incident of longhouses catching fire this month.

On May 5, about 1,000 Punans living in the Punan Bah settlement in Ulu Kapit, central Sarawak, were also left homeless after their longhouses were destroyed by fire.

Original article here.

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This is the second fire incident already.

In the previous one in Punan Bah, it was found out that the fire was uncontrollable because the government did not keep their promise to supply the settlement with fire-fighting equipment like hoses and the like. Lack of communication infrastructure also hindered aid from getting to the settlement in double time. Read here for more.

Is this another case of a governmental promise long forgotten? Will we hear again of fire extinguishers and hoses not being delivered when promised?

Is this another case of empty promises?

At the very least, the news of this fire didn’t take one whole day before the authorities found out, like in the Punan Bah settlement. But will aid be sent to Rumah Banyang ASAP? Do they have “communication breakdown” like in the Punan Bah fire?

Let’s hope not. And let’s hope that the people left homeless by the fire will get whatever necessary aid to help them rebuild their lives.

UPDATE:
The Star has updated their news article on this incident:

Miri Division Fire chief Serumi Ali on Monday morning said the fire was swift and the impact devastating.

“We received an emergency call just after midnight and we rushed down a team of firemen to the site immediately. However, due to the distance from Miri to the longhouse, we could not do much to save the longhouse by the time we arrived.

Meanwhile, several non-governmental bodies like the Red Cresent and the Tzu Chi Buddhist Society have heard about the incident and have started preparing relief aid from here.

Full article here.

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Again, because of distance. It should be loud and clear for the authorities now to know that it is absolutely crucial that these settlements be provided with the adequate equipment to fight fires like these themselves.

But at least relief aid is swift this time.



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