Malaysia: Comprehensive study of beach erosion following tidal waves in Terengganu

ADRIAN DAVID New Straits Times 10 Feb 16;

KUALA NERUS: A comprehensive study of soil erosion following tidal waves along affected stretches of beaches off Terengganu has been called to prevent major disasters.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said that the Drainage and Irrigation Department, along with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, have been roped in to carry out the study.

The study, he said, would focus on soil erosion prone areas including Pantai Paka, Dungun; the Setiu Wetlands and Tanjung Gelam in Kuala Nerus.

“The state government is seeking additional funding from the federal administration to carry out this study and implement measures like constructing bund walls and wave breakers at the affected areas.

“We need to expedite this plan as the situation is worrying,” he said after visiting several victims affected by tidal waves at Kampung Mengabang Telipotin Kuala Nerus.

Razif said the state government had already carried out RM1 million bund works previously along a one kilometre stretch from Kampung Tok Jembal to the beaches of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Tanjung Gelam.

“Those were short term measures by us and we are committed to come out with a permanent solution soon to ensure the safety of our residents,” said Razif.

Tidal waves since last Sunday had displaced 38 people from seven families in Kemaman, forcing them to shelter at three relief centres.

It also affected 23 victims from four families in Mengabong Telipot, Kuala Nerus who sought shelter with their relatives after their homes were damaged.

Several residents in Bukit Keluang Besut were similarly affected.

In Pantai Teluk Lipat Dungun, traffic came to a standstill after the trunk road was inundated with rising sea waters.

Meanwhile, the Terengganu Economic Planning Unit, the East Coast Economic Region and the state DID have allocated RM20,000 immediately to carry out bund works and for the placement of sand bags at Pantai Sura in Dungun.

Dungun development officer Datuk Din Adam said the measures were necessary as the beach in Dungun was severely affected by the tidal wave phenomenon that had affected a seven kilometre stretch from Pantai Teluk Lipat to Pantai Teluk Gadung.

Din added that a RM69 million federal grant had been allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan to handle beach erosion at critical areas in the state.

Giant waves lash village and wreak havoc

DUNGUN: At first there were screams, then loud crumbling noises before huge waves battered village homes in Kampung Pantai Laut.

Villagers at the fishing village in Paka ran from house to house, saving their own and their neighbours belongings as waves washed through their wooden dwelling.

For Hazura Halias, 33, a mother of four, watching the huge waves hit land on Sunday night was the scariest experience of her life.

“It was total chaos,” she said.

The disaster saw half her brick house, two rooms, the kitchen and all the belongings, such as a television set and cupboards, destroyed.

“All we could do was to save our lives,” she said.

“I grabbed my four children and ran to my mother’s house up the road as my husband collected important documents,” she said yesterday.

Besides damaging homes, Hazura said the huge waves – an annual phenomenon – had been adding to the coastal erosion.

“There used to be some 100 families staying here before.

“Within five years the numbers has shrunk, leaving only about 38 families.

“Many of them have moved out as their homes were damaged,” Hazura said.

In Paka, fishermen were unable to go to sea due to the rough conditions and huge waves.

Boats were still berthed at the jetty.

At Mengabang Telipot, the waves caused a partial collpase of one house while a few more were damaged.

The rough sea conditions also caused over 150 holiday makers to be stranded at the Perhentian and Redang islands after boat services from the mainland were suspended.

Besut district police chief Supt Khaled Che Lah said the stranded tourists in Perhentian island had safely made their way back on Monday while hoteliers in Redang island said their affected guests had arrived safely at the Merang Jetty on Tuesday.

New homes for victims of super high tide
The Star 11 Feb 16;

KOTA BARU: Kelantan government will relocate 17 families whose homes at Pantai Pulau Kundor were battered by waves on Sunday during a super high tide.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the state government and the Kelantan Islamic Religious Council would help build new homes for residents who had to move out.

“They can no longer live there as it is dangerously close to the coastline. The government has identified an area to build the new homes,” he said when visiting the families at the flood relief centre here.

At the same time, Ahmad urged the Federal Government to build wave breakers in the area, as it had been approved under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“The wave breakers should be built immediately,” he said.

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