KOTA BHARU, Dec 31 — Following continuous heavy rain since Dec 18, Kelantan was among the states badly affected by floods which caused thousands residents to relocate to temporary relief centres (PPS) and suffered losses due to damaged properties such as houses, vehicles and furniture.

Following the disaster, 140 PPS were opened in nine districts namely Kota Bharu, Tumpat, Pasir Mas, Bachok, Tanah Merah, Pasir Puteh, Kuala Krai, Machang and Jeli.

State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) secretariat said the highest number of flood victims in the state totalling 32,089 people from 9,542 families was recorded on Dec 21

Although the flood was not as bad as the ‘yellow flood’ in 2014, it also had an impact, especially in areas that had never been flooded before.

Residents that Bernama met did not expect the continuous heavy rain to cause the water level to rise so quickly in their homes so much so they did not have time to save their belongings.

Nik Noraini Ainun Nik Mahmud, 29, from Kampung Jelor, Pasir Puteh said water started entering her house at about 7.45am (Dec 19) following continuous heavy rain.

“Seeing the water situation rising, my family immediately left the house because the water level at that time was above thigh level and we were very anxious then because it was the first time, our house was flooded,” said Noraini who had to evacuate to a PPS without having time to bring any clothes.

In fact, there were residents who claimed that drainage system was not planned and managed and it was believed to be among the causes of flash floods in some villages which have never been flooded before, thus creating panic and confusion among people.

Siti Rozilawati Shaari, 31, from Pengkalan Chepa said drainage issues in Kelantan need to be taken seriously by all parties, especially the state government, so that flash floods do not happen again in the future.

“We already know that during the monsoon season, Kelantan is one of the states that will be hit by floods, but could mitigated it from becoming worse if the drainage system is well managed, especially in densely populated areas,” she said.

Earlier, Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the state government has identified several ‘hotspots’ in the state and has approved allocations to provide ditches and drains in certain areas starting next year.

Apart from that, the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad was recently reported to have said that as many as 40 projects related to flood mitigation plans (RTB) and environmentally friendly drainage are being and will be implemented by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) in Kelantan and Terengganu.

As for Nor Atikah Aziz, 28, from Kuala Krai, she said besides drainage issues, the state government also needs to focus immediately on repairing the state’s roads that were badly damaged due to the flood disaster.

“I hope the state government can solve the problems faced by the people as soon as possible to ensure that our welfare is maintained and protected,” she said.

Public Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi when conducting a flood survey in Kelantan said a total of 94 disaster locations nationwide have been identified involving 52 state roads and 42 federal roads in eight states namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Selangor and Perak.

Of that number, 61 locations involved flooding with slope collapsed (19 locations), eroded roads (five locations), sunken roads (six locations) and damaged bridges (three locations). — Bernama