01/22/2009, 00.00
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Flooding hits Brunei, two women drown

Heavy rains cause worst floods in 40 years. Power is cut in several parts of the country. About 145 millimetres of rainfall falls in 24 hours. Oil and gas facilities do not report any damages.
 Bandar Seri Begawan (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two women died in Brunei in the worst floods to hit the South-East Asian country in nearly 40 years. Heavy rains started late on Tuesday in the oil-rich capital of Bandar Seri Begawan, causing flash floods and landslides, interrupting power supply and shutting some telephone lines.

The first victim was a 46-year-old Chinese, reportedly killed in her bedroom when the walls of her room caved in, trapping her inside.

Police sources put the time of death at around at around 10.45 pm on Tuesday.

The deceased shared the house with about 20 people. Survivors said they heard a “loud bang” from the bedroom at the back of the house, and tried to pull the victim out of the room but failed because of the amount of debris and mud.

They managed to free her after some time and rushed her to RIPAS Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead

The second victim was 19, killed on her way home from work after midnight, trapped in a drain with fast flowing floodwater

Her father had just picked her up from work. When they realised their car could not pass through the flooded road, they got out to walk home.

After skidding under the force of rapid flowing water she was trapped by the drain’s steel barrier and drowned.

According to the first damage reports, the city's main power station was affected, but the oil and gas facilities located nearly 100 miles (about 150 kilometres) south of the capital were not affected.

“All our stations have been put on alert for any further developments and we are keeping a very close eye on the weather,” said Brunei Fire Brigade Chief Yahya Abdul Rahman.

Power and gas supplies are slowly being restored in the capital, the electricity department said.

About 145.8 millimetres of rainfall was recorded during the 24-hour period from 8 am Tuesday to 8 am Wednesday, according to the weather department, which expects more rain in the coming days but not as heavy as on Tuesday.

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