Malaysia: Rivers in five states reach worrying levels

JUSTIN ZACK The Star 27 Nov 15;

PETALING JAYA: Water levels in several rivers nationwide have reached worrying heights, sparking fears of flooding.

Warnings have been issued in five states after water exceeded normal levels, said the Drainage and Irrigation Department’s online flood information website (which provides up to date data on river water levels).

The rivers are in Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor and Sabah.

As of 6.30pm yesterday, the water level along Sungai Padas in Sabah exceeded dangerous levels.

At the station in Beaufort, the water level was 8.79m, well above the normal level of 4.5m for that area, according to the website.

On Wednesday, 468 people in the area were evacuated and placed in relief centres.

In Klang, the Kampung Jawa station along the Sungai Klang area recorded water level of 4.81m.

The normal water level is 3m. Anything above 4.7m constitutes “danger”, which comes with a warning of potential flooding in the area.

The water level of Sungai Muar in Negri Sembilan is 62.53m, above the normal level of 61.8m.

Sungai Perak is currently at 112.09m, just under a metre below its danger level.

Johor’s Sungai Sayong has hit 15.30m, one metre above its regular height of 14.3m.

For the latest statistics on river water levels, visit infobanjir.water.gov.my.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that as of 10am yesterday, 1,327 people nationwide were told to move to evacuation centres.


More evacuees in three of four flood-hit states
The Star 26 Nov 15;

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of people evacuated due to floods has risen in three of the four affected states, taking to 1,327 the people moved out as at 10am Thursday.

More people were moved out of their homes in Sabah (from 150 to 519); Perak (from 401 to 404) and Sarawak (from 315 to 361).

However, in Pahang, the number of evacuees dropped, from 67 to 43.

In Kota Kinabalu, state Department of Civil Defence director Col Mulliadi Al Hamdi Ladin said the number of evacuees in the Tenom district had risen from 150 to 519 overnight.

They were being housed at six relief centres, he said, adding that two of the relief centres were opened last night - at Rumah Kebudayaan Saga and Mandalom Lama.

On Wednesday, 468 people were moved of their homes to four relief centres.

Tenom district officer Madiyem Layapan said these were at Ponontomon, Labut 1 and 2 as well as Lalandang.

The level of the Padas River in Tenom is at the danger point of 176.47 metres at 7am today.

In Ipoh, Perak Fire and Rescue Department director Yahya Madif said the number of evacuees in the state had gone up to 404 at 8am from 401 overnight but several evacuees in Hilir Perak had returned to their homes.

The newly evacuated people numbered 15 from Kampung Ali Kalang in Bagan Serai, he said, adding that they were moved to the relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Merah.

Yahya said the number of evacuees in Bagan Serai rose to 133, with the people coming from Kampung Changkat Lobak, Kampung Permatang Tengah and Parit Air Hitam. All of them were being housed at Sekolah Kebangsaan Changkat Lobak.

The 117 evacuees from Batu 38 and Batu 40, Kampung Beriah and Parit Abu Hassan in Bagan Serai were being accommodated at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Merah, he said.

"The number of evacuees in Pantai Remis, from Kampung Padang Serai, Pengkalan Baru, remains at 83 and all of them are staying at Sekolah Agama Rakyat Kampung Padang Serai," he said when contacted.

Yahya said the number of evacuees in Hilir Perak had dropped to 56 from 73 overnight.

These villagers, from Kampung Mesra Batu 7, Changkat Jong, Teluk Intan, Kampung Lorong Mesra, Batu 9 and Kampung Lorong, were being housed at Sekolah Kebangsaan Changkat Jong, Teluk Intan, he said, adding that their villages were flooded to a depth of 3.05 metres following heavy rain.

In Miri, Limbang Department of Civil Defence officer Subuh Posa said the number of evacuees at the Medamit community hall in Limbang had risen to 303 Thursday morning from 258 overnight.

All these evacuees were from Kampung Hujung Medamit, he added.

He also said that the number of evacuees at the Trusan community hall in Lawas had gone by one to 58 Thursday.

These evacuees were from Kampung Gelapas, Kampung Seberang Kedai, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Tengah and Kampung Balai, he added.

Subuh said food, drinks and other essential aid had been provided to the evacuees by the Social Welfare Department and other agencies.

In Kuantan, Pahang Department of Civil Defence director Zainal Yusoff said the number of evacuees in the Lipis and Raub districts in the state had dropped to 43 from 67 overnight.

The 23 evacuees in Lipis are being housed at the relief centre at Sekolah Lubuk Kulit, he said, adding that they were from Kampung Barus Beletik and Kampung Keledek.

In Raub, only one relief centre, at the Kuala Semantan Jamek Mosque, remained open with 20 evacuees, he said, adding that the centre at the Kampung Tersang community hall had closed after all the 19 evacuees returned to their homes.

Zainal advised the people in flood-prone areas to keep their valuables in a safe place and to evacuate when instructed by the authorities. - Bernama


Coastal fishermen hope for a kinder weather
The Star 27 Nov 15;

KOTA BARU: Over 300 coastal fishermen here are praying for a kinder and calmer monsoon this year.

The fishermen of Kuala Besar near here are hoping that their catch throughout the monsoon season would not be as badly affected as last year.

“I was not able to go to sea for at least three months during the monsoon period from November last year.

“It was a difficult time for us because the sea was choppy. Even those who ventured out to sea during those months came back without much catch due to the high waves and strong undercurrents,” said 39-year-old Mohd Yunus Abdullah of Kuala Besar here.

He said, like many other fishermen, he had to find temporary employment and do odd jobs during those months just to make ends meet.

Mohd Yunus said since the monsoon season started early this month, his catch had dwindled to just a box of fish per day.

“I am praying hard that this monsoon season will not be as bad as last year,” said Mohd Yunus, who has been a fisherman for the past 10 years.

Another coastal fisherman, Nik Abdullah Nik Muhammad, 45, of Pantai Sabak here, said it was not worth the risk to go out to the sea during monsoon season as the waves were big and dangerous to small fishing boats.

“The harvest of good fish is also low, so it really is not worthwhile to go out to sea nowadays.

“I just hope that the monsoon season will end quickly and the flood will be less devastating,” he added.

Nik Abdullah said deep-sea fishermen had already stopped going out to the open sea since early this month.

Prices of all types of fish have been rising since the monsoon season started.

The price hike averaged between RM3 and RM5 per kilo, depending on the fish.

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