Malaysia: Floods worsen in Sarawak

YU JI The Star 31 Dec 15;

KUCHING: Seven flood relief centres have been opened in and around the state capital as of noon Thursday.

As of 7pm, there are 437 evacuees from 167 affected families at four relief centres in Kuching and three in Samarahan.

The worst affected area is Stapok, on the outskirts of the city. The relief centre there currently has 112 evacuees, including five toddlers and one handicapped person.

The other shelters at Bako, Taman Sri Setia, Kampung Tambirat and community halls in Samarahan.

A water level station at Batu Kitang on Sungai Sarawak Kiri is currently at the alert stage.

Nearly all rain stations in southern Sarawak have received "very heavy" rainfall since midnight. The Siol station reported 252mm of rainfall, followed by the Third Mile station with 224mm.

According to the Drainage and Irrigation Department, rainfall of more than 60mm within two to four hours typically cause flash floods.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (Met) has issued a "heavy rain, orange stage" warning for most of coastal Sarawak, from Lundu to Mukah. It said rain was "expected to continue until Jan 1".

A "first category strong winds and rough seas" warning was issued at midnight just as it began to rain.

Floods hit Sarawak’s low-lying areas after continuous rainfall
YU JI The Star 31 Dec 15;

KUCHING: Rain has been falling non-stop since midnight Thursday here, resulting in flash floods at low-lying areas in the Sarawak capital.

The Fire and Rescue Department said on Friday that one of the first areas to flood was Kampung Beradek near Bako National Park.

Reports of other affected areas include Batu Kawa, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak's health faculty and villages like Sinar Budi and Kampung Pulo.

Seven rainfall stations have recorded rainfall above the warning level, with Siol reporting 199mm of rain since 2am; Third-Mile station, 185mm and Saberkas, 151mm.

Six areas have recorded rainfall exceeding the warning stage, including Kuching south, the Barrage, Rampangi and Semariang.

According to the Drainage and Irrigation Department, rainfall of more than 60mm within two to four hours would typically cause flash floods.

As of 11am, all river level stations at affected areas had readings within the normal range. A high tide of 5.4m is forecasted at 9pm.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued a "heavy rain, orange stage" warning for most of coastal Sarawak, from Lundu to Mukah. It said rain was "expected to continue until January 1".

A "first category strong winds and rough seas" warning was issued at midnight just as it began to rain.

"Strong north-easterly winds of 40-50 km/h with waves up to 3.5m (11 feet) is expected to occur over the waters off Sarawak, Labuan and Sabah, specifically in the interior, Kota Kinabalu and Kudat until Saturday, January 2," it said.

It warned the conditions were dangerous to small crafts, recreational sea activities and sea sports.

Flood situation improving in Terengganu
The Star 31 Dec 15;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The flood situation in Terengganu is improving and the number of evacuees still at relief centres is falling quickly.

As of 6pm yesterday, few evacuation centres were open and in only one district, Kemaman, housing 547 victims from 125 families.

The centres were Seberang Tayor Hulu Hall (164 victims), Felda Seberang Tayor Civic Hall (286 victims), Masjid Kampung Batu (16) and Tebak (81).

“Floodwaters in certain areas, especially in Hulu Terengganu, Marang and Dungun where initially some 57 evacuation centres were opened since Sunday, have also receded,” said state Civil Defence Department director Lt-Col Che Adam A. Rahman.

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