Flood control centres unaware of actual statistics

This aerial view shows houses and plantations submerged in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Baru, Kelantan on December 28, 2014. — AFP pic
This aerial view shows houses and plantations submerged in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Baru, Kelantan on December 28, 2014. — AFP pic

PETALING JAYA, Dec 29 — Inundated district flood control centres in Kelantan have hampered communication on the actual situation and evacuees affected there.

Flustered officers from the National Security Council helpline were not able to provide accurate figures of evacuees, missing persons and the current death toll in the afflicted areas when contacted yesterday.

“We really feel like we have been cut off from them (district control centres) as there has been barely any communication for the past two days,” said a duty officer requesting to be known as Isham.

He said currently, the main control centre in Kuala Lumpur was relying on Whatsapp messages sent intermittently from nine districts in the worst-hit state Kelantan, namely Kota Baru, Kuala Krai, Pasir Puteh, Tumpat, Rantau Panjang, Gua Musang, Machang, Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah.

Yesterday, Bernama reported Kelantan to be in a critical condition, recording more than 100,000 victims at relief centres across the state although conditions in Selangor and Perlis were returning to normal.

In Kuala Krai alone, there were 23,169 evacuees reported while statistics on the other districts remain vague with the flurry of outreach activities.

“It has been raining relentlessly and to top it off, there is a constant flow of people flooding the relief centres for food and shelter,” said an undisclosed source from the state flood control centre.

“He said officials were focused on ensuring food and aid sent, are distributed to those in submerged areas like Kuala Krai and Manik Urai.”

He said there were continuous air-drop activities to address complaints on shortage of food and water in the inundated areas.

“As soon as the supplies are brought to Pengkalan Chepa, we start sending them out to the submerged districts via helicopters,” he said, adding there would be at least one trip every two hours.

“As of now, we are doing the best we can to ensure supplies are reaching those with little or no food.”

Separately, Umno Welfare Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said efforts to send food to areas such as Kuala Krai have been intensified despite submerged roads.

“This is our main obstacle. So everybody has to be patient and pray because efforts to send food and other essential items to the flood victims will continue,” he told reporters after visiting the flood relief centre at SK Seri Chempaka.

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