Malaysia: Floods recede as wet weather eases

IVAN LOH and JOASH EE DE SILVA The Star 6 Dec 16;

PETALING JAYA: A sunny break in inclement weather saw floods in most parts of the country subsiding and evacuees allowed to return home.

However, the Meteorological Department has warned Malaysians to expect more rainfall and thunderstorms in the coming week.

In Ipoh, all 38 people affected by flash floods in Kampung Pengkalan Ara, Hilir Perak, have returned home. Hilir Perak district officer Shahru­naim Radzali said the last of the villagers at the shelter, consisting of nine families, left at 1.30pm yesterday.

“We have now closed the temporary shelter at SK Pengkalan Ara. The relocation efforts were assisted by the Civil Defence Department and Rela,” he said.

The villagers have been staying at the shelter since Saturday.However, at Kampung Padang Serai in Pantai Remis, Manjung, some 71 people from 17 families are still being housed at the temporary shelter, which opened on Friday when the water level rose to 1.4m.

As at 4pm yesterday, the weather at Hilir Perak and Manjung was cloudy again although conditions elsewhere in the state remained fair.

In Kota Baru, Bernama reported that as at noon, the state’s official flood website at put the number of flood evacuees in Kelantan at 55.

The evacuees are being housed in flood relief centres at SK Wakaf Raja, Pasir Puteh (26 evacuees) and SK Tiong, Kota Baru (29).

The relief centre at SMK Beris Panchor, Bachok, was closed at noon after the 12 evacuees returned to their homes, it said.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department also recorded the river level at Sungai Golok, Rantau Panjang, as having fallen to 7.14m from 7.34m previously. This is still above the alert level at 7m.

For the coming week, rainfall is forecast in the mornings for east coast states in Peninsular Malaysia while other states will experience thunderstorms in the evenings and at night.

Sarawak will see rain along its coast as well as in the central and western regions. Rain is also expected in the mornings for the western and eastern regions of Sabah with thunderstorms in several areas, especially Labuan.

More affected by disasters
NABILA AHMAD The Star 6 Dec 16;

JOHOR BARU: More people were affected by disasters such as flash floods, freak storms and fires in Johor.

Johor Civil Defence Department director Kol Mat Zin Bujang said there were 247 victims statewide this year compared to only 169 people last year.

“Because of the increase, more aid was channelled from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Bantuan Bencana Negara with RM123,500 distributed so far this year while last year, RM84,500 was disbursed.”

He added that last year, the department recorded a total of 10,160 cases while 8,880 have been recorded so far this year comprising mostly sightings of snakes, flash floods, freak storms, fires, road accidents and others.

“We are on high alert now because of the monsoon season,” he said in his speech during the handing over of cash aid to 153 freak storm victims at SK Kangkar Tebrau.

The victims from Kampung Kangkar Tebrau, Kampung Bunga Ros, Kampung Seri Purnama, Kampung Ulu Pandan, Taman Bunga Ros and Taman Delima received RM500 each.

Kol Mat Zin added that the department had identified some hotspots for flash floods including Kangkar Tebrau, Cahaya Baru, Kuala Masai and Gelang Patah.

“Our Community Emergency Response Team has 50 members in Johor Baru, 207 in Pontian, 144 in Kluang and 98 in Kota Tinggi,” he said.

Earlier, one of the recipients Ismail Abu Bakar, 86, said that he was home alone when the freak storm occurred at around 3.45pm.

“It was scary as I saw zinc roofs flying in the air,” said the retiree, adding that he has stayed in the area for over 70 years.

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