Landslide hits highway, works underway to restore water supplies to 9 Sarawak villages. (courtesy of Fire and Rescue Department)

MIRI: Efforts are underway to restore water supplies to nine villages in Bekenu near here, which were cut-off following a landslide at a stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway yesterday.

Among the villages affected by the water disruption were Kampung Keluru Tengah, Kampung Hunai, Kampung Angus, Kampung Mumang, Kampung Ranchah-Rancah, Kampung Masjid Tiris, Rambai, Kampung Kejapil and Kampung Keluru Jaya.

A State Rural Water Supply Department spokesman said the incident affected water supply to 5,000 villagers and not 30,000 as suggested by a news portal.

"Our men, together with personnel from the Public Works Department and other local authorities have been deployed on the ground to resolve the problem.

"We hope that the supply could be restored to the affected village the soonest.

"The route is still close and users are advise to use the coastal roads to travel between Miri and Bintulu," said the spokesman today.

The spokesman said the landslide had damaged the main pipes from the water treatment plant here to the affected villages.

He added that the department and the Fire and Rescue Department have been sending more than 40,000 litres of water via lorries to the villagers.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), which is the project delivery partner for the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak, confirmed that the cave-in occured at one of the stretches of the highway.

The spokesman said LBU has commenced investigation to identify the cause of the incident.

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