Best of our wild blogs: 10 Feb 16



CNY Day 2: Cyrene Reef
wonderful creation

Snaky at Southern Semakau
wild shores of singapore

wintering grey plovers @ semakau south - 08Feb2016
sgbeachbum


Read more!

Malaysia: Big waves hitting coastline giving villagers the jitters

SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA The Star 10 Feb 16;

KUALA NERUS: Big waves that have been battering the coastline and causing erosion are giving villagers here and in Kemaman the jitters.

They live in fear of their lives and property each time this takes place and want the Government to resolve the problem fast.

On Sunday night, waves as high as five metres hit the Mengabang Telipot coastline here and Kemaman, forcing the evacuation of 67 people.

Two houses were badly damaged by the strong waves while several others were slightly damaged.

About a week ago, on Jan 26, some nine families consisting of 37 members from Kampung Tanjung Gelam and Kampung Tengah were evacuated for the same reason. Three homes were also damaged during the incident.

Army retiree Yushrey A. Rashid, 41, said he no longer felt safe at home.

In Sunday’s incident, a bedroom he had only recently added to the house was completely washed away by the waves.

“We do not know what to expect now. I fear for the safety of my family. It looks like the only option left for us is to abandon our house and live temporarily with relatives,” he said when met here.

Recalling his family’s ordeal, the father of a 10-month-old child said that at about 9pm on Sunday, five-metre waves hammered his house relentlessly, causing the extended bedroom to collapse.

“We sleep in that room most nights. However, that night, we decided to camp in the hall because we were warned by the local fishermen’s association about the possibility of big waves coming.

“The sound of the waves hitting the brick wall was loud and all of a sudden, we heard a crash.

“We were stunned to see that the bedroom had totally given way,” he said, adding that the huge waves had crossed the breakers situated about 15m from his house.

Apart from the bedroom, the waves also damaged the rear of his house.

Rakeah Ali, 73, also faced a similar predicament as Yushrey and feared losing his home.

He hoped the Government would take pity on the villagers and do something before they lose their houses.

Even the dead were not spared as the waves also reached a Muslim burial ground nearby.

Another villager, Razali Mamat, who was cleaning debris left by the waves on his father’s grave, said if the situation continued to worsen, the authorities should relocate the graves away from the coastline.

Yesterday, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman visited the location and instructed the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to carry out a thorough study to solve the problem.

As a temporary measure, he said the state government had allocated RM1mil to improve the structure of the wave breakers in the area.


Read more!

Malaysia: 2,700 evacuated due to floods

The Star 10 Feb 16;

KUCHING: Over 2,000 people have been evacuated as heavy rain brought floods to parts of Kuching and Bau districts.

As of 2pm yesterday, the number of eva­cuees had risen to 2,679, compared to 765 on Monday night.

State Civil Defence Department (JPAM) public relations officer Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said the flood victims had been moved to 21 relief centres – 14 in Kuching and five in Bau.

Seven of the centres were opened on Monday night as more rain fell while two more were opened yesterday morning.

Deputy State Secretary Datuk Misnu Taha said the weather was expected to improve by the end of the week.

“According to the Meteorological Department’s forecast, the rain will lessen over the next few days until Friday. The Drainage and Irrigation Department’s telemetry stations also showed light rain in most parts of Sarawak, unlike the heavy rain over the last few days,” he told reporters after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting yesterday.

He cautioned that water levels could rise again during high tide and advised residents in low-lying areas to be on the alert.

“The public can contact JPAM if they observe the water level rising. The Welfare Department is also ready to deliver food to relief centres,” he said.

In Malacca, the flood situation continued to improve as only 119 flood victims remained at Sekolah Kebangsaan Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah.

All other relief centres have been closed as flood water receded yesterday.

In Johor, only one relief centre remained open at SK Sepang Loi in Segamat, which housed 10 people from two families.

All other relief centres in Tangkak were closed yesterday evening as situation returned to normal.


Over 2,500 people evacuated as floods worsen in Sarawak
The Star 9 Feb 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: The flood situation in Sarawak has worsened with 2,679 people evacuated to 19 relief centres in Kuching and Bau.

The number of evacuees registered at 5pm saw more than a 100% increase from Tuesday morning.

Sarawak Civil Defence Department (JPAM) public relations officer Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said that 14 relief centres were opened in Kuching and five in Bau to house the victims from 694 families.

Fire and rescue department personnel were deployed at Kampung Batu Kitang, one of the areas affected by floods, to monitor the river level.


ADVERTISEMENT
The situation in the Peninsular, however, showed a marked improvement.

In Malacca, only 119 flood victims remained at Sekolah Kebangsaan Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal in Alor Gajah.

State Civil Defence Department director Lt Kol Effendy Ali said the relief centre at Balai Raya Bukit Balai, Durian Tunggal, which housed 26 people, was closed at noon.

In Johor, three more relief centres in Tangkak and Segamat were closed as floodwaters receded.

According to the state Disaster Management Committee, the Kampung Awat relief centre in Segamat was closed at 5pm.

In Tangkak, the centres at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sialang and Sekolah Agama Bandar Tangkak were closed at 4.30pm.

The only remaining centre is at SK Spang Loi in Segamat, which housed 10 flood victims from two families. – Bernama

Holidaymakers stranded in Pulau Redang
SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA The Star 9 Feb 16;

BESUT: Some 100 holidaymakers were stranded in Pulau Redang since Sunday after boat services to the mainland here were suspended due to rough sea conditions.

Sixty of them managed to safely arrive at the mainland on Tuesday evening, leaving 40 behind in the island.

Boat services were suspended due to huge waves, strong winds and rough seas.

A hotel employee, who did not want to be named, said authorities issued a notice for boats to cease operations following the adverse weather since Thursday, which posed a danger to small boats ferrying tourists.

"Initially, we had about 100 tourists stranded. But some 60 of them were ferried by boats at 3pm and 5pm today (Tuesday) after obtaining approval from authorities.

"There are about 40 more who are left behind after they had decided to extend their stay until tomorrow (Wednesday)," said the employee, adding that they may be permitted to travel once the situation improves.

The huge waves measuring about 5m also saw some 100 tourists stranded on Pulau Perhentian since Thursday.

Besut district police chief superintendent Khaled Che Lah said they safely arrived at the mainland by boat on Sunday after getting clearance from authorities.


Read more!

Malaysia: Whale carcass found near Batu Pahat

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 10 Feb 16;

PONTIAN: A carcass of a whale was found in shallow water along Pantai Sarang Buaya near Batu Pahat, about 120km from Pontian.

Batu Pahat Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency enforcement chief Lieutenant Commander Maritime Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah said the agency received information about the matter from local fishermen at around 4.45pm yesterday evening.

He said the waters in the area were shallow and MMEA boats could not get closer to the animal for better investigation.

He said the agency would pull the carcass onto the beach area once it was high tide early today.

“Once the high tide comes in we will be able to bring the whale carcass towards the beach,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He, however, said the agency was not able to say whether it was the same whale which was found near Pontian waters on Monday.

The 15m-long whale, which was found swimming dangerously close to the coastal area along Pantai Rambah, was saved by a group of people who pushed it back towards the open sea.

The sighting of the whale on Monday sparked a frenzy among the people, with many taking pictures with their mobile phones.

One of the fishermen, Ismail Sirat, 47, who was involved in the rescue, said when he first heard news of the whale sighting, he dismissed it as a joke.

“But when I went to the Pantai Rambah recreational park, I saw a huge crowd of people looking at the whale.

“But no one went to help the animal. It was struggling as it was constantly moving its tail.

“I then decided to take my boat and rescue it,” said Ismail.

Ismail, with the help of his elder brother and a friend, managed to tie a rope around the whale’s tail and pull it to deeper waters.

Ismail added that about nine people, including two men from the Pontian Fire and Rescue Department, helped to push the whale while he used his boat to pull the 15m-long mammal.

“We struggled for almost three hours,” he said, adding that the marine police cut the rope around the mammal’s tail before it swam away.

“While we were pulling it to deep waters, the whale kept swimming against the flow and moving from side to side. It was quite dangerous for us, but we did it.

“The marine police followed the whale to the open sea, which was a huge relief.

“I feel very happy that I was able to play a part in saving that whale. I will relate the tale to my children and grandchildren,” said a beaming Ismail.

Whale found beached near Batu Pahat
MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 9 Feb 16;

JOHOR BARU: A whale was found beached along Pantai Sarang Buaya near Batu Pahat here and is believed to be dead.

Batu Pahat Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency enforcement chief Lieutenant Commander Maritime Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah said fishermen reported the incident at about 4.50pm on Tuesday.

He said the waters at the area were too shallow and MMEA boats could not get closer to the animal.

Once it is high tide, the carcass will be pulled towards the beach, Muhammad Zulkarnain said.

He, however, declined to confirm whether it was the same 15m-whale which was found near Pontian waters on Monday.

The whale, which was found close to the coastal area along Pantai Rembah, was saved by a group of people who pushed it back towards the sea.


Read more!

Indonesia: Thousands Forced to Flee as Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in E. Java

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages in Gresik district of East Java were forced to evacuate their homes on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks.
Aries Sudiono Jakarta Globe 9 Feb 16;

Gresik, East Java. More than 2,000 homes and hundreds of hectares of agricultural land were submerged on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains in Gresik district of East Java caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks. This resulted in three levees to collapse, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The levees — located at Gedangan village in Sukodadi subdistrict, Ploso Wahyu village in Kota subdistrict, and Tambakploso village in Turi subdistrict — were swept away by the raging water due to the heavy downpours in the area since Monday.

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages were forced to seek shelter at relatives' homes as the flood waters rose to as high as 100 centimeters on Monday. The water level receded to about 40 centimeters by Tuesday.

Two major roads in Gresik were also knee-deep under water in some sections.

“[The water] is gone now but last night [Monday] nearly a one-kilometer stretch of the road was flooded, particularly in front of the Bulurejo [local] market,” Gresik District Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Abu Hasan said on Tuesday.

Abu added that the BPBD had distributed some food to the displaced residents, but did not elaborate on what the agency had done to alleviate the disaster.

The Kali Lamong River is one of the offshoots of the iconic Bengawan Solo River that flows through both Central and East Java.


Heavy rains trigger landslides, claim lives
Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post 9 Feb 16;

Heavy rain continued to pour across the country on Monday, causing disasters that resulted in the deaths of several people.

High rainfall in West Sumatra from Saturday triggered landslides and floods across six regencies and cities, killing four residents while at least two others are presumed dead. The disaster cut access from the province to Kerinci regency in Jambi and areas in Riau, forcing 6,000 people to evacuate.

West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Zulfiatno claimed that six people were killed when their house in Jorong Taratak Tinggi, South Solok regency, West Sumatra, was buried by a landslide on Monday at 3 a.m.

“Four of the victims were found dead, while two others are still missing as of this afternoon. We have yet to confirm the names of the victims,” Zulfiatno told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said another victim, identified as Fadri, 16, was reportedly swept by an overflowing river in Limapuluh Kota regency as he was fishing.

Landslides and flooding continued from Saturday until Monday morning, affecting Solok city as well as Limapuluh Kota, Sijunjung, South Solok, Agam and Pasaman regencies.

“Flood victims were evacuated to safer areas as floodwaters engulfed homes at a level of up to 2 meters. They are in need of aid, such as foodstuffs and clothing,” said Zulfiatno.

In Limapuluh Kota, Pangkalan district was engulfed by 2 meters of water as a number of rivers burst their banks. The floodwater also swamped government offices and the Pangkalan Police station. Cars parked at a nearby market were submerged up to their roofs.

In Central Java, the bodies of seven people killed on Friday in a landslide in Penungkulan village, Purworejo regency, have been found, and the search was officially stopped on Sunday afternoon.

“The two latest victims were found on Sunday at 5 p.m. local time. A total of seven victims were found and the recovery effort has been stopped,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Yogyakarta chapter operational head Asbani said on Monday.

They were identified as Salimah, 60, and Triyanto, 9, while the five other victims were Sarengat and Sumini, both 80, Suprapti, 45, Fitri, 16 and Erni Yulianto, 8.

The landslide, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday after several days of heavy rain, caused a 30-meter cliff to collapse, burying two houses.

Asbani said his agency had deployed two rescue teams, each consisting of 15 members.

In Riau, high rainfall over recent days triggered floods in a number of villages in Rambah and Rokan IV Koto districts, Rokan Hulu regency.

In Rokan IV Koto, thousands of homes in four villages and two subdistricts were engulfed on Sunday by the overflowing Mentawai and Palis rivers, whose levels rose 3 meters higher than usual.

The water also swept away the Sei Mentawai Bridge, which is the only access route to Sipang Kiri, Cipang Kiri Hulu, Tibawan and Kubang Buaya villages.

In East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a nine-day search for Theresia Madis, 68, who was swept away by water from the overflowing Wae Togong River in Sambi Rampas district, East Manggarai, remained unsuccessful as of Sunday.

“We have been searching for the victim for nine days,” East Manggarai BPBD head Antonius Dergon told the Post.

In Siru village, Flores, NTT, rescuers managed to find two victims who were swept away by the Wae Laci River.

Rizal Harahap in Pekanbaru and Markus Makur in East Manggarai contributed to this article


Hundreds of flood victims evacuated in Bangka Belitung
thejakartapost.com 9 Feb 16;

Hundreds of residents of Lampur Village, Bangka Belitung province, were evacuated from their houses on Tuesday after water levels reaching up to 3 meters in height inundated the area.

"The village is sheltering flood victims at a PT Timah building,” said Dani, a member of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

He explained that residents were asked to leave their homes temporarily due to the continuously rising water level caused by constant rainfall that started on Sunday and continued until Tuesday morning.

Armed with rubber boats, search and rescue (SAR) teams have been rescuing residents trapped in their homes, Dani continued.

The evacuation process was carried out in cooperation with village residents and officials, Dani said.

"Health officials are also on standby at temporary shelters," he added.

Assistance for victims is already flowing in from other residents in the form of human resources and food.

"Currently, our officers are alert and we urge the general public to be vigilant because the rain has not yet stopped," he said.

The areas around Central Bangka regency have also confronted severe floods.

Central Bangka BNPB head Kaharuddin said the floods had damaged infrastructure, destroying roads and bridges.

Kaharuddin added that rescue officers had been dispatched to several areas in the regency. (liz/bbn)(+)


Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 9 Feb 16



CNY Day 1: Southern Semakau
wonderful creation

Eaten by a giant clam
Neo Mei Lin

Welcome the Monkey Year with Primatewatching.com!
biodiversityconnections


Read more!

Malaysia: Whale near coast of Pontian, Johor pulled out to sea

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 8 Feb 16;

PONTIAN: The sighting of a 20-meter whale swimming along the coastal area of Pantai Rambah here on Monday left many villagers and the public in awe of the mammal.

The sighting of the whale caused a frenzy among the public with many taking pictures with their mobile phones.

Within minutes, the news was widely spread on social networks. Within a few hours, a large group of people thronged the area to see the whale up close.

The whale was spotted at around 2pm by several beachgoers heading towards the coastal area of Pantai Rambah.

Local fisherman Ariss Karim, 54, said he spotted the whale swimming in deep waters near the beach since the wee hours of the morning after returning from his fishing trip at around 6am.

“I thought to myself that it is a big fish and it will help me a lot once I catch it but when I went to have a closer look, I discovered it was a whale. This startled me and I quickly give up on the idea as the animal is very large.

“The whale might have been lost at open sea and it might have followed the water current which lead it to the coastal area of Pantai Rambah,” he said adding that this is the first time he ever seen a whale in his life.

Ariss added that he been a fisherman all his life but he never thought he would be able to see the world’s largest mammal in Johor’s waters.

Pontian Rescue and Fire station special service operations chief Jumaat Sailan said the department together with state Civil Defence Department and local fishermen went to rescue the whale.

“The animal was swimming closer to the coastal area where the water is quite shallow and it may put its life in danger.

“We used a fishing boat and tied a rope around its tail before pulling the whale into deeper waters at around 3.30pm. The operation was a success as the animal managed to swim away into the open sea,” he said.



Beached whale causes commotion at Pontian beach
HALIM SAID New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

PONTIAN: The sight of a beached whale at the Rambah shoreline caused a commotion among the locals here today.

The whale, measuring around 20m long, was spotted around 2pm some 50m from the beach.

It was learnt that the whale had been swimming in the Pontian waters since morning.

A fisherman identified only as Aris said he had noticed that a large blackish object gliding on the ocean surface but he was unable to make out what animal it was. "I was shocked when I learnt that the large animal was a whale.

This is the first time I have seen a whale up close," he said.

The whale's presence also caused a buzz on the social media, with locals uploading pictures and videos of the animal.

Fearing that it could become stranded in the shallow waters, the Pontian Baru Fire and Rescue Department was deployed to rescue the animal.

The station's special operation chief Jumaat Sailan said this was the first time he and his unit had to face such a unique rescue mission.

He said they had to respond quickly to get the animal back to the open sea as it was still alive and moving.

"We had to tug it out from the shallow sandy water by tying its tail and pulling it using a fishing vessel.

With the help of the fishermen there the whale was back in deep water by 3.30pm," he said.

The number of onlookers began to swell at the beach, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare sighting.


Read more!

Malaysia: High waves batter Terengganu coast

Octogenarian almost washed away by strong waves battering east coast
CA ZULKEFLIandSHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA The Star 8 Feb 16;

KOTA BARU: An octogenarian almost died after huge waves battered his home at Kampung Kundor here on Sunday.

Yusof Taib, 80, said he was almost washed away when the waves hit the walls of his 40-year-old home at 6pm.

"The waves were very huge and were strong enough to bring down the wooden walls and windows and there was not enough time to do anything but to hold on the pillars in the house.

"I was sitting in the living room when the waves hit as the house is only situated 2m from the beach.

"It was so powerful that I was flung to the living room with water and sand submerging the house. I was lucky as I held on the pillar, " said Yusof at SK Pantai Kundur flood relief center on Monday.

The father of 11 children added that this was the second time the high tide hit his home, with the first occurring on Jan 26.

He said he had just moved back into the house three days ago after that incident.

This time around he and his family are expected to stay at the relief center longer as his house was totally damaged.

He is taking shelter at the center with 17 other families

The phenomenon has wreaked havoc along the east coast in the past few days

Huge waves on Sunday night along the coastal stretch in Mengabang Telipot and in Kemaman, both in Terengganu severely battered village houses along the coastline.

The heavy battering by the monstrous waves measuring some 4.5m resulted in two village houses being partly destroyed, several others slightly damaged with 67 people from both districts being evacuated.

As of 4pm on Monday, four families comprising of 29 people from Kampung Tengah, in Mengabang Telipot, were temporarily taking shelter with their relatives meanwhile 38 other villagers from Kemasik and Kampung Geliga in Kemaman were evacuated to three evacuation centres.

According to the Meteorological Department, coastal villagers can expect strong waves as high as 4.5m and winds up to 60kph until tonight.

Dept warns of choppy seas until Tuesday
The Star 8 Feb 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Strong winds and choppy seas along waters off the coast of the east coast states as well as Sarawak and Sabah will continue until tomorrow.

According to a Meteorology Department statement here, the affected areas were the waters off Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, east Johor, Sarawak, Labuan and Kudat, and the west coast and interiors of Sabah.

“This is due to strong north-east winds of about 60km an hour, with waves reaching 4.5m which are expected in these areas,” the statement said.

“The strong winds and choppy seas are dangerous to all beach activities and shipping, including workers on oil rigs,” the statement said.

During the same period, similar conditions are expected to continue in the waters of Condore, Reef North, Layang-Layang, Samui, Palawan, Tioman, Bunguran, Reef South and Kuching. — Bernama


13 families made homeless after gale-force wind, waves lash Terengganu coastal villages
ADRIAN DAVID New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

CHUKAI: Almost 70 people from 13 families in Kemaman and Kuala Nerus were made homeless after strong winds and high waves lashed several coastal villages off the South China Sea.

A police spokesman said that those affected were from Jalan Pantai Teluk Lipat in Dungun, Kampung Geliga Baru in Kemaman and Kampung Tengah Mengabang Telipot in Kuala Nerus.

The spokesman said the adverse weather began around 6.30pm and caused sea waters to rise up to one metre at the affected villages.

One of the 38 victims from Kemaman, Mohd Naim Abdullah, 41, said he and fellow residents panicked as the strong waves continued lashing their homes following gale-force like winds from the South China Sea.

Naim said he quickly scrambled his wife, Noros Faizal Mohamad Gati, 30, and his three children, aged between three and 11, to safety.

Naim added he managed to cart away a television set and a refrigerator to higher ground. Police and local residents helped the affected lot to be sheltered at nearby community halls in Pekan Lama Kemasik, Dewan Geliga Baru and Surau Haji Ali.

Over at Kuala Nerus, 29 affected people from four families spent their time with relatives on higher ground.

A victim, Yahya Muda, 65, said the residents did not think twice to wait for the situation to calm and decided to put safety first by seeking shelter with their relatives.

A 200m section of Jalan Pantai Teluk Lipat was eroded by the strong waves.

Resident Agus Hamzah called on the authorities to build a bund across their coastal villages to prevent further erosion.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department is looking into the matter while the Meteorological Department has forecast adverse weather until tomorrow (Tuesday).

Pulau Perhentian students stranded, can't go home due to rough seas
New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

BESUT: Around 30 students from Pulau Perhentian are stranded on the Terengganu mainland after huge waves and rough seas prevented them from returning to their homes for Chinese New Year.

The students, from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kuala Besut, are now being cared for the by the school's parent-teacher association at the school hostel.

Kuala Besut state assemblyman Che Ku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman said the students were prevented from leaving the school for Chinese New Year holidays at their homes following rough sea conditions.

Che Ku Zaihan said he also instructed his assistant at the Kuala Besut office to assist the students during the time.

"Earlier, eight students from the same school failed to return to the island following huge waves on Thursday," he said when contacted.

"We are concerned about their safety while boating to the island," he said, adding that the sea conditions could make it dangerous for sea travel.

Last night, several homes had to be evacuated due to large waves slamming the state's coastline.


Read more!

Malaysia: Flood situation improves in Malacca but worsens in Johor

The Star 8 Feb 16;

MALACCA: The flood situation in Malacca has improved but the situation in Johor worsened as another relief centre was opened in Segamat.

The number of evacuees in Malacca dropped to 359 people from 88 families as of 4pm, compared to 3,951 people from 887 families at noon.

Malacca Civil Defence Department director Lt Col (PA) Effendy Ali said only two relief centres remained open, namely SK Belimbing Dalam with 327 victims, and Bukit Balai Durian Tunggal community centre, housing 32 people.

"All relief centres in Malacca Tengah and Jasin have been closed as of this evening," he said when contacted by Bernama here Monday.

However, he reminded the people to remain vigilant, and be prepared in case the floods returned.

The weather in Malacca Monday was sunny and cloudy in certain areas around Alor Gajah and Malacca Tengah.

Meanwhile, in Johor, another relief centre was opened this afternoon, namely at SK Spang Loi in Segamat.

According to the State Disaster Management Committee, five victims from one family had been moved to the centre.

"With the addition of the this relief centre, the total number of flood victims placed in four relief centres as of this afternoon increased to 127 people from 34 families," he said when contacted.

He said the number of flood victims at the relief centre in Sekolah Agama Bandar Tangkak also increased this afternoon from 24 to 41 people. - Bernama

Floods worsen in Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Johor
The Star 8 Feb 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: The flood situation continues unabated in the southern states during the first day of the Chinese New Year.

In Malacca, the number of victims increased to 4,600 people (1,005 families) Monday morning from 4,317 (956) Sunday night.

State Malaysian Civil Defence Department (JPAM) director Lt Col Effendy Ali said of the total, 3,020 victims were housed at six evacuation centres in the Melaka Tengah district.

Alor Gajah district had 1,560 victims sheltered six evacuation centres and the Jasin district with 24 victims at one relief centre.

"The number of victims at the 13 relief centres rose due to heavy rain last night, causing several areas to be flooded," he said when contacted by Bernama.

In Negri Sembilan, there was a slight increase, with the number of evacuees increasing to 662.

State JPAM director Lt Col Kamal Mokhtar said in a statement that as of 8am, the number of relief centres in the district remained at six.

The Gemenceh-Gemas road, which was fully repaired, was expected to be open to all vehicles at 5pm.

In Johor, floods victims increased to 126 involving 32 families who were evacuated to three relief centres in Tangkak district.


Flash floods hit parts of northern Sabah
RUBEN SARIO The Star 8 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Flash floods hit parts of the northern Kota Marudu district, some 120km from here, following two days of continued heavy rain.

Areas such as Kampung Batu 4 and Kandawayon have inundated by about 1m of water since late Sunday.

Retired Sabah Water Department technician Matthew Gitom, who lives at Kampung 4, said low lying areas as well as padi fields had been affected.

He said floods had taken villagers by surprise due to the dry conditions over the past several months.

The Malaysian Meteorological Services Department had warned of hot and dry weather in Sabah between January and March due to the El Nino phenomenon.

It said, the impact of phenomenon would see a reduction of rainfall of between 20% and 60% and an increase in temperature of between 0.5 and 2 degrees Celsius during the period.


Floods: Over 4,500 evacuated in Malacca
ROSHIDI ABU SAMAH New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

MALACCA: A total of 4,600 flood victims in Malacca involving 1,005 families are still being placed at 13 evacuation centres across the state as at 8am today.

State Civil Defence Department director Lieutenant Colonel Effendy Ali said Melaka Tengah district recorded the highest number of victims with 3,020 people, followed by Alor Gajah and Jasin district which recorded 1,560 and 24 victims respectively.

"Six relief centres are still open each in Melaka Tengah and Alor Gajah while only one centre still operating in Jasin," he said in a statement here today.

Effendy said three relief centres in Alor Gajah and two centres in Jasin had been closed in the last 24-hour.

1,065 people sheltering at Sarawak flood relief centres
ADIB POVERA New Straits Times 9 Feb 16;

KUCHING: Some areas on the southern parts of the state remained submerged by floods following continuous downpour from last night until early today.

According to a Civil Defense Department spokesman, 1,065 people from 253 families were still seeking shelter at temporary flood evacuation centres.

The spokesman said the flood evacuees were relocated to 13 relief centres in Kuching and Bau.

The deputy state secretary is expected to chair the Sarawak Natural Disaster Committee Meeting before briefing the media on the flood situation in the state at Petra Jaya this morning.


Read more!

Indonesia: Floods, landslides, high waves

Thousands flee their flooded houses in North Aceh
Antara 9 Feb 16;

Lhokseumawe, Aceh (ANTARA News) - Floods triggered by days of heavy rains hit North Aceh district, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

Flood waters, which reached 30 cm up to 1 m high, forced the residents of Matang Kuli and Langkahan sub-districts to evacuate, spokesman for North Aceh district administration, T. Nadirsyah, said on Monday.

"The floods began to affect the areas yesterday and spread to other areas last night," he said.

Thousands of evacuees are being sheltered at a number of mosques.

He said the North Aceh district head has instructed relevant agencies to evacuate residents from their flooded homes and set up public kitchens at evacuation sites.(*)

Storm wrecks 62 homes in Batam
Antara 8 Feb 16;

Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - At least 62 homes in Batu Merah, Batuampar Sub-district, and the Batu Besar coastal area, Nongsa Sub-district, in Batam City, Riau Islands Province, were damaged due to storm caused by extreme weather since Sunday morning.

"Twenty houses were almost destroyed or heavily damaged, and 40 others incurred moderate damage in Batu Merah," Ardiwinata, a spokesman of the Batam municipality administration, stated here, Monday.

In Batu Besar, the storm wrecked two houses and two restaurants --- Cahaya Laut and Hankang --- that were often frequented by foreign tourists.

The local authorities have set up emergency tents and a public kitchen to help the victims of the natural disaster.(*)

Six people buried in landslide in Payakumbuh
Antara 9 Feb 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Six people were buried in a landslide caused by incessant rains that also blocked the road between Payakumbuh and Pekanbaru in West Sumatra, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said on Monday.

"Incessant rains since Friday (Feb 5) have caused flooding and landslides in several areas in the city of Solok, districts of Agam, Solok Selatan and 50 Koto," the agencys spokesman, Sutopo Nugroho, said in a release.

He said floods and landslides that have affected three sub-districts in Solok Selatan were caused by overflowing Batang Bangko, Batang Suliti and Batang Lolo rivers.

The floods and landslides have snapped the road connectivity between Muaralabuh and Padang Aro Kerinci.

Six people and a house were buried in the landslide that occurred at 20:00 hours in the district on Saturday.

"Some 2,000 homes were submerged up to 1.5 meter deep water and 100 hectares of paddy fields were also inundated in water up to a meter high. Two bridges collapsed and traffic between Payakumbuh and Pekanbaru was totally cut. Rain is still continuing as of now," he said.

The Batang Lembang river overflowed, causing flooding in the village of Koto Panjang and also Kampai Tabu Karambie, Solok city, inundating 36 homes.

In the district of Agam, he said, a landslide occurred at 02:00 on Sunday blocking a section of the road between Bukittinggi and Lubuk Sikaping, but the road is now clear for use.

Flooding also occurred in Nagari Pangkalan in the sub-district of Pangkalan Nagari in the district of 50 Koto, Sutopo said.

As many as 100 houses have been inundated in waters up to a meter deep while one person was carried away by water currents though he was later saved.

"The agency, in cooperation with the military, the police, the Red Cross and the National Rescue Agency and community members, has made an inventory of the damages and also provided emergency assistance.

Command posts have been set to provide food to those affected by the floods and landslides, he said.(*)

Death toll in W Sumatra`s floods and landslides rises to six
Antara 9 Feb 16;

Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The death toll in landslides and floods in West Sumatra province rose to six after a search and rescue team recovered the body of a resident who was reported missing earlier.

The body of the 65-year-old resident, identified as M Yunus, was found from the same place as the four bodies recovered earlier, acting chief of the West Sumatra Provincial Disaster Mitigation Board, Zulfiatno, said.

"The team is still on the lookout for one missing victim, identified as Refa," he said.

According to the board, landslides and floods triggered by heavy rains affected the districts of Solok Selatan, Solok, Limapuluh Kota, Agam, Tanah Datar, Dharmasraya, Sijunjung and Pasaman and the municipalities of Solok and Sawahlunto.

"We call on the public to stay alert to deal with any eventualities when it rains," he said.(*)

Floods inundate Binjai as two rivers overflow
Antara 8 Feb 16;

Binjai, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Incessant heavy rains over the past two days have caused flooding and led to two rivers overflowing their banks in Binjai.

Several sub-districts in Binjai were inundated, Yusrizal, head of the Binjai disaster mitigation office, stated here, Monday.

The Mencirim and Bingei rivers overflowed and flooded the city following downpours, he remarked.

The local authorities have deployed officers to help the flood victims.(*)

High waves sink three fishing boats in North Sumatra waters
Antara 8 Feb 16;

Langkat, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Three traditional fishing boats sank after being hit by high waves in the waters of Alur Bui Sembilan, Pangkalan Susu, Langkat, North Sumatra Province, on Monday, but all the fishermen survived.

The fishermen were rescued by other fishermen who spotted them, Adjunct Commissioner Maladirman, head of the Langkat water police unit, stated.

They were hit by huge waves and strong winds at around 6 a.m. local time while they were returning back after fishing in the middle of the vast ocean.

One fishing boat was from Sembilan Island, and the two others were from Pangkalan Brandan, he noted.

"No casualties were reported in the disaster. All the fishermen have returned to their respective homes," he added.

The police officers had warned the traditional fishermen to be cautious as the extreme weather had caused huge waves in the waters off the coast of Langkat.(*)


Read more!

Sea-level rise 'could last twice as long as human history'

Research warns of the long timescale of climate change impacts unless urgent action is taken to cut emissions drastically
Damian Carrington The Guardian 8 Feb 16;

Huge sea-level rises caused by climate change will last far longer than the entire history of human civilisation to date, according to new research, unless the brief window of opportunity of the next few decades is used to cut carbon emissions drastically.

Even if global warming is capped at governments’ target of 2C - which is already seen as difficult - 20% of the world’s population will eventually have to migrate away from coasts swamped by rising oceans. Cities including New York, London, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Calcutta, Jakarta and Shanghai would all be submerged.

“Much of the carbon we are putting in the air from burning fossil fuels will stay there for thousands of years,” said Prof Peter Clark, at Oregon State University in the US and who led the new work. “People need to understand that the effects of climate change won’t go away, at least not for thousands of generations.”

“The long-term view sends the chilling message of what the real risks and consequences are of the fossil fuel era,” said Prof Thomas Stocker, at the University of Bern, Switzerland and also part of the research team. “It will commit us to massive adaptation efforts so that for many, dislocation and migration becomes the only option.”

The report, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, notes most research looks at the impacts of global warming by 2100 and so misses one of the biggest consequences for civilisation - the long-term melting of polar ice caps and sea-level rise.

This is because the great ice sheets take thousand of years to react fully to higher temperatures. The researchers say this long-term view raises moral questions about the kind of environment being passed down to future generations.

The research shows that even with climate change limited to 2C by tough emissions cuts, sea level would rise by 25 metres over the next 2,000 years or so and remain there for at least 10,000 years - twice as long as human history. If today’s burning of coal, oil and gas is not curbed, the sea would rise by 50m, completely changing the map of the world.

“We can’t keep building seawalls that are 25m high,” said Clark. “Entire populations of cities will eventually have to move.”

By far the greatest contributor to the sea level rise - about 80% - would be the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet. Another new study in Nature Climate Change published on Monday reveals that some large Antarctic ice sheets are dangerously close to losing the sea ice shelves that hold back their flow into the ocean.

Huge floating sea ice shelves around Antarctica provide buttresses for the glaciers and ice sheets on the continent. But when they are lost to melting, as happened the with Larsen B shelf in 2002, the speed of flow into the ocean can increase eightfold.

Johannes Fürst, at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany and colleagues, calculated that just 5% of the ice shelf in the Bellingshausen Sea and 7% in the Amundsen Sea can be lost before their buttressing effect vanishes. “This is worrying because it is in these regions that we have observed the highest rates of ice-shelf thinning over the past two decades,” he said.

Avoiding the long-term swamping of many of the world’s greatest cities is already difficult, given the amount carbon dioxide already released into the atmosphere. “Sea-level rise is already baked into the system,” said Prof Stocker, one of the world’s leading climate scientists.

However, the rise could be reduced and delayed if carbon is removed from the atmosphere in the future, he said: “If you are very optimistic and think we will be in the position by 2050 or 2070 to have a global scale carbon removal scheme - which sounds very science fiction - you could pump down CO2 levels. But there is no indication that this is technically possible.” A further difficulty is the large amount of heat and CO2 already stored in the oceans.

Prof Stocker said: “The actions of the next 30 years are absolutely crucial for putting us on a path that avoids the [worst] outcomes and ensuring, at least in the next 200 years, the impacts are limited and give us time to adapt.”

The researchers argue that a new industrial revolution is required to deliver a global energy system that emits no carbon at all. They conclude: “The success of the [UN climate summit in] Paris meeting, and of every future meeting, must be evaluated not only by levels of national commitments, but also by looking at how they will lead ultimately to the point when zero-carbon energy systems become the obvious choice for everyone.”

“We are making choices that will affect our grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond,” said Prof Daniel Schrag, at Harvard University in the US. “We need to think carefully about the long timescales of what we are unleashing.”

A long, hot view: Climate change likely to extend across next 10,000 years
New long-term scenarios lend new urgency to fast-tracking carbon curbs
BOSTON COLLEGE EurekAlert 8 Feb 16;

Chestnut Hill, Mass (02/08/2016) - The damaging climate consequences of carbon emissions will grow and persist for millennia without a dramatic new global energy strategy, according to a new set of research-based climate change scenarios developed by an international team of scientists.

Rising global temperatures, ice field and glacial melting and rising sea levels are among the climatic changes that could ultimately lead to the submergence of coastal areas that are home to 1.3 billion people today, according to the report, published online today by the journal Nature Climate Change.

The findings, the authors write, hold implications for policy makers because the projections reveal the intractability of a climate change across millennia. This long view, they note, should add urgency to efforts to significantly curb carbon emissions within the next few decades, not gradually across the remainder of the 21st century.

"This long-term view shows that the next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change that will extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far," the team concluded.

The new projections are based on leading research into contemporary and historical climate data, but also new scientific reconstructions of the only comparable period in human history: the last Ice Age.

"This is the most comprehensive look at global climate in the past, present and future," said Boston College paleo-climatologist Jeremy Shakun, a co-author of the report. "What our analysis shows is that this era of global warming will be as big as the end of the Ice Age. And what we are seeing is a massive departure from the environmental stability civilization has enjoyed during the last 10,000 years of its development."

The international team of co-authors, led by Peter Clark of Oregon State University, generated new scenarios for temperature rise, glacial melting, sea-level rise and coastal flooding based on state-of-the-art climate and ice sheet models.

Under the most conservative scenario, the researchers used a projected global output of 1,280 billion tons of carbon across the next few centuries, far below estimated reserves of at least 9,500 billion tons.

The projected consequences at this level of carbon emissions include:

* Global average temperature increase will exceed the recognized "guardrail" limit of 2 degrees Celsius.
*Melting of glaciers and the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will combine for a rise in sea levels of 25 meters, or about 80 feet.
* Coastal submersion could displace as many as 1.3 billion people worldwide, a number that now accounts for approximately 19 percent of the world's population.
* As many as 25 "megacities" around the world could see rising oceans force at least 50 percent of their populations from their homes and businesses.

The consequences of the three other scenarios, which range as high as total carbon emissions of 5,120 billion tons, are substantially greater and should be considered "increasingly likely" given contemporary growth in carbon emissions, according to the report.

The perspective on the future-looking projections comes from looking back at the last Ice Age, which ended approximately 10,000 years ago.

Shakun and other climate scientists have developed a clearer portrait of that era of glacial melting and how the climate responded to and recovered from than era of significant climatic changes.

The team notes scientists have reconstructed a record of natural carbon emission, temperature rise, glacial melting and sea-level rise stretching back 20,000 years to the peak of the Ice Age.

That paleo-climatological portrait shows, for example, that the sea-level rise of 130 meters required roughly 10,000 years to retreat as a stabilized climate emerged in which human civilization has flourished.

"This gives us the opportunity to provide the long view on global temperature and sea level rise, from the end of the Ice Age to today and then onward another 10,000 years into the future," said Shakun. "This sort of side-by-side comparison of the long past and the long future has not been shown before, but is useful for seeing the geological scale to the consequences of carbon emissions since the dawn of industrialization until our actions today."


Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 8 Feb 16



Monkeying Around: Misconceptions about Macaques and how we can make it better
BES Drongos

NSS-Raffles Marina North-West Cruise
Singapore Bird Group

Splashing good time at Eastern Semakau
wonderful creation

Western Ubin with OBS
wonderful creation

Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) @ Chek Jawa
Monday Morgue


Read more!