Floods worsen overnight in Pahang, Terengganu

Residents lift up their washing machine in a house at Chenor, between the border state of Pahang and Terengganu, 300km outside Kuala Lumpur December 6, 2013. — Reuters pic
Residents lift up their washing machine in a house at Chenor, between the border state of Pahang and Terengganu, 300km outside Kuala Lumpur December 6, 2013. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 ― More people were evacuated in Pahang and Terengganu overnight as the east coast states continued to endure the annual monsoon floods which have also struck Kelantan and Johor. 

A total of 65,102 people remained at evacuation centres in the four states as of 10 am today, with the largest number of 40,819 in Pahang. Terengganu had 22,391 at its relief centres; Johor, 1,340 and Kelantan, 552. 

In Pahang, a spokesman of the Pahang Police flood operations room said all the evacuees were being housed at 149 relief centres.

“Kuantan remains the district with the highest number of evacuees, at 34,426. They are staying at 42 relief centres,” he told Bernama.

Pekan had 3,329 evacuees at 31 relief centres; Maran, 1,034 at 19 centres; Temerloh, 1,002 at 22 centres; Jerantut, 520 at 11 centres; Raub, 209 at 10 centres; Bera, 189 at seven centres; Rompin, at 57 at three centres and Lipis, 53 at four centres, he added.

The spokesman said several stretches of major roads remain closed to traffic, among them Jalan Kuantan-Sungai Lembing at Km28; Jalan Kuantan-Segamat at Km72; Jalan Jerantut-Lipis at Kampung Sepial and Jalan Temerloh-Bera at Km14 and Km18.

Meanwhile, Pahang Disaster Relief Committee chairman Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail has acknowledged a delay in the supply of food initially to the relief centres.

He attributed the delay to a sudden and unforeseen rise in the number of evacuees as well as disruption of transport facilities due to floodwaters cutting off roads.

Citing an example, he said there was sufficient food for three days at a relief centre catering to 500 evacuees, but when their number swelled to 1,500 within hours, the food ran out and additional supplies could not reach the centre in time due to the floods.

“The transport problem was compounded by the numerous vehicles parked or stalled along the route to the relief centres, which made it all the more difficult for the lorries bringing supplies to get through,” he said after a visit to the relief centre at Wisma Belia.

Muhammad Safian said enough food had been stocked up at the relief centres since.

He also said that Kuantan registered a record 900 millilitres of rainfall from December 1 to 3, equivalent to thrice the amount for the whole month of December last year.

This resulted in the drainage system being unable to cope with the situation, he said, adding that the improvement of the drainage system in several areas in Kuantan had drained water fast.

In Terengganu, the number of evacuees at relief centres rose to 22,391 overnight.

The portal of the National Security Council attributed the increase to the evacuation of about 360 people in Dungun last night, taking the total number of evacuees in the district to 3,764.

The number of evacuees remains unchanged in Kemaman (18,576); Kuala Terengganu (six); Marang (26) and Hulu Terengganu (19).

The State Public Works Department flood operations room reported that all major roads between Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baharu and Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan were passable to traffic.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department reported that the levels of the major rivers in the state were below the danger point this morning.

In Johor, 1,340 evacuees remain at 20 relief centres in the state, down from 1,538 last night.

The National Security Council portal reported that 582 evacuees were at nine relief centres in Segamat, 413 were at three centres in Pontian, 220 were at four centres in Batu Pahat; 97 were at two centres in Kota Tinggi; 20 were at one centre in Kluang and eight were one centre in Ledang.

The areas in Segamat still affected by the floodwaters were Kampung Sanglang, Kampung Paya Dalam, Kampung Awat, Kampung Pogoh 2, Kampung Batu Badak, Kampung Tandong, Kampung Gemereh III, Kampung Spang Loi and Kampung Kuala Paya while in Batu Pahat, they were Koris, Kampung Parit Haji Kamisan,

Sungai Suloh, Parit Lapis and Kampung Linau Kechil.

In Kota Tinggi, the affected areas were Kampung Mawai Baru and Kampung Perpat; in Pontian, Parit Stan and Tampuk Laut; in Ledang, Kampung Kundang Ulu and in Kluang, Kampung Melayu Batu 4 near Paloh.

In Kelantan, five people were evacuated this morning to a relief centre in Pangkalan Kubor after the Sungai Golok burst its banks, reported the official portal of the state government.

The level of the river in Rantau Panjang was receding but was at 9.52 metres, still above the danger point of nine metres.

The number of evacuees in the state dropped to 552 from 1,613 last night, the portal said, adding that they were house at relief centres in the Pasir Mas and Tumpat districts.  

The weather was reported to be fine in Kelantan this morning. ― Bernama