KUANTAN, Nov 7 — The floods that struck Ringlet in the Cameron Highlands on Wednesday should make people realise the importance of forest conservation, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said.
He said although the state government had taken measures to prevent a recurrence of the floods, after a similar incident in Bertam Valley last year, it was unfortunate there had been another calamity.
Adnan said while the state government would help in every possible way, including giving financial assistance and evacuating families, there was only so much which could be done and the people must play their part, too.
“The relevant parties — TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad), the district office and the police — were prepared to face the floods and they had performed their tasks well,” he said.
“However, for the long term, there is not much that can be done now, as most of the areas have been taken up by settlers with haphazard development, and the forest stripped bare.”
Last year, the Ringlet lake in the Bertam Valley overflowed following continuous rain and caused a mud flood that claimed four lives and damaged more than 100 houses.
Asked whether an increase in settlements in the Bertam Valley had contributed to the flooding on Wednesday, Adnan said the residents were too attached to their homes and had refused to move elsewhere.
“We tried to relocate SJK (C) Bertam Valley but they refused (to move),” he said.
“There is not much we can do except advise them to move their family and children immediately to the higher floors of the school whenever floods occur.”
The Meteorological Department said excessive rainfall had been recorded in the Cameron Highlands on Wednesday.
The department’s deputy director-general, Alui Bahari, said the affected areas in Ringlet had recorded 79.8mm3 of rainfall.
“Such heavy rainfall only happens once every four years,” he said.
“Our radars detected thunderstorms would occur in the area on Wednesday but we ccould not predict exactly how much rainfall would occur,” he said.