Malaysia: Big waves hitting coastline giving villagers the jitters


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.

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