Malaysia: Terengganu spared from major floods

SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA The Star 23 Dec 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: No major floods are expected in Terengganu for the remainder of the monsoon season, said state Meteorological Department director Jenuwa Husin.

The weather forecast, he said, indicated isolated and relatively light rainfall until the end of the monsoon in March.

“We believe the state will get normal, average rainfall from now on,” he told The Star.

He said there were small-scale floods in Kemaman, parts of Kuala Terengganu, Hulu Terengganu and other low-lying places last month.

This followed a heavy downpour for about eight hours on Nov 29.

Some 317 people had to be evacuated to five flood relief centres in Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu.

Jenuwa said Terengganu had been on high alert between Dec 13 and 22 following an earlier forecast of heavy rains and high tides of up to 3.5m in Kemaman.

Despite the good news, the state government and rescue agencies were not taking any chances.

State Civil Defence Force director Lt Col Che Adam A. Rahman said 3,000 personnel from various agencies were on standby.

He said flood simulation exercises had been carried out with the Fire and Rescue Department.

Rivers, irrigation canals and drainage systems had also been deepened and cleaned to mitigate the possibility of floods.

The first wave of floods in several states in the peninsula had receded, but wet weather due to the North-East Monsoon will persist for those living in the east coast.

Science, Technology and Inno­vation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor were expected to get more than 500mm of rainfall this month.

At noon yesterday, the Malaysian Meteorological Department warned of widespread thunderstorms over waters off Terengganu and the Straits of Malacca.

It predicted strong winds reaching up to 50kph and waves as high as 3.5m.

At 3pm yesterday, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage issued a warning for those living in Kelantan.

Its official website, http://publicinfobanjir.water.gov.my/ reported that Sungai Golok had exceeded its normal water level by almost a metre.

Earlier this month, more than 100 people in Perak and Kelantan were forced to evacuate their homes due to floods.

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