Monday, March 24, 2008

Frightening Flood

These photos were taken in Belaga Town in 1977. Belaga is a rural town deep in the heart of Borneo. It is located on the right bank of the Rajang River, about 8 hours by boat from Sibu. At nomal times when there is no heavy rainfall, the town is at least about 70-80 feet above the water level. But just after 2 nights of continuous heavily rain, the river will swell and the water level will rise at a very alarming pace. When I took these photos, I could really see the water level inching up every few minutes. It was frightening to see both the rising water and the swift current. Flooding along the Rajang is mainly blamed on uncontrolled deforestation. Hopefully with the completion of the gigantic hydro dam 37 km above Belaga, it will help to regulate the water flow.Construction of the Bakun Hydro Dam began in 1977 and is expected to be commissioned in 2009.

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