BALING, July 5 — The Rural Development Ministry (KPLB) will immediately build a temporary bridge after the existing Lata Celak bridge in Kampung Iboi here collapsed when floods hit this district yesterday evening.

Its minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid remedial action was necessary to allow villagers to commute to schools and mosques nearby.

“We will make a bridge extension that will allow the villagers to cross the river to go to schools and mosques. We will make a temporary bridge first because a concrete bridge will take time,” he told reporters after inspecting the flood hit area around Kampung Iboi here today.

Mahdzir said all assistance related to repairs or construction of infrastructure and houses damaged as a result of the disaster would be coordinated by the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department (ICU).

“We agreed that all remedial work will be coordinated by the ICU and all other agencies will follow the ICU,” he said, adding that KPLB had an allocation for immediate repair work on facilities affected by disasters although it would need proper scrutiny before approval. He said KPLB, through GiatMara, would help repair an estimated 70 houses damaged in the disaster.

Mahdzir also said that KPLB premises such as the Community Development Department (Kemas) kindergartens in the area had not been affected, but he was informed that there had been Kemas staff who were victims of the flood.

Yesterday’s flash floods and water surge phenomenon claimed the lives of three members of a family while seven houses were swept away by strong currents.

Following the disaster, the federal government will be channeling initial assistance of RM1,000 to each family affected by floods here, while RM10,000 will be given to the families who lost their loved ones in the incident.

Political secretary to the Prime Minister Datuk Mohammad Anuar Mohd Yunus was reported as saying that said so far the initial assistance had been channelled to more than 100 families housed at several relief centres (PPS) here. — Bernama