Malaysia: Floods worsens in Terengganu, over 4,000 evacuated

BERNAMA New Straits Times 1 Jan 17;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The floods in Terengganu have continued to worsen, with the number of evacuees in six districts rising to 4,062 as at 8am today from 3,292 at 10pm yesterday.

The state Welfare Department portal reported that nine more relief centres were opened overnight, bringing to 52 the number of relief centres as at 8am. Terengganu Welfare Department acting director Rusmi Mahmood, when contacted by Bernama, said a total of 1,244 families had been affected by the floods which hit the state early yesterday.

"The district of Hulu Terengganu remains the worst hit with three more relief centres opened overnight. It has 2,268 people from 789 families at 24 relief centres.

"Kemaman has 595 people from 141 families at relief centres; Marang, 491 from 128 families; Besut, 299 from 72 families; Setiu, 296 from 87 families and Dungun, 113 from 27 families," he said. The levels of three rivers in the state have breached the danger point while those of four more were above the alert stage, according to the portal of the state Drainage and Irrigation Department.

It reported that the level of Sungai Telemong at Kuala Ping near Hulu Terengganu was at 20.59 metres (above the danger point of 20 metres); Sungai Nerus at Kampung Langkap, 21.68 metres (21.50 metres) and Sungai Marang at the Pengkalan Berangan Bridge, 3.89 metres (3 metres). It also reported that the level of Sungai Besut at Kampung La was 20.38 metres (above the alert point of 19.8 metres); Sungai Besut at the Keruak Bridge, 33.24 metres (33 metres); Sungai Chalok at Setiu, 7.30 metres (7 metres) and Sungai Dungun at Kuala Jengah, 19.74 metres (19.50 metres). The levels of all the rivers, except Sungai Chalok at Setiu, were reportedly dropping as at 8am. -- BERNAMA


Terengganu floods worsen, over 2,000 evacuated, major roads unpassable
BERNAMA New Straits Times 31 Dec 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: Floods in six worst-affected districts in the state have worsened, forcing 2,031 people from 586 families to 33 relief centres by 6pm.

Lt Col Che Adam A Rahman of the Terengganu Disaster Management Committee Secretariat, said 1,055 people from 344 families were evacuated to 15 relief centres in Hulu Terengganu district. "Six relief centres were opened in Marang (to accommodate 280 people from 67 families), five in Setiu (234 people from 68 families) and three in Kemaman (294 people from 63 families).

"Two relief centres were opened in Besut to house 93 people from 26 families and two more in Dungun to accommodate 75 people from 18 families," he said to Bernama. Meanwhile, floods have forced the closure of eight stretches of road in the state.

Che Adam said that in the district of Hulu Terengganu, stretches of four roads were closed to all traffic at 10am after floodwaters rose to 0.5 metre, with a portion of Jalan Bukit Perah-Kuala Kejir at Kampung Jak being closed to light vehicles.

The four other flooded roads are Jalan Aring-Kuala Jeneris at Kampung Basung (0.5 metre), Jalan Tapah at Kampung Kepah (0.5 metre), Jalan Matang-Kuala Telemong at Kampung Nibong (0.7 metre) and Jalan Kuala Pueh-Tapah-Payang Kayu-Baung-Kuala Ping (0.8 metre). Che Adam also said that in the Setiu district, stretches of two roads were closed to light vehicles. "Jalan Pengkalan Merbau-Pelong near Kampung Pelong Kepah was flooded to a depth of 0.8 metre and was closed at 9.30am. Jalan Chalok Bukit Putera-Telaga Papan near Kampung Lubuk Panjang was flooded to a depth of 0.6 metre and was closed at 11am," he said. - Bernama


Train services in east coast disrupted because of flooding
The Star 31 Dec 16;

PETALING JAYA: Passengers on the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) intercity train services will experience a service disruption in the east coast due to floods and a landslide.

KTMB said that the flooding and landslide occured at KM392.5 between Bukit Abu - Dabong, Kuala Krai at 8.30am Saturday.

"All train services between Kuala Krai - Gua Musang - Kuala Krai will be suspended until further notice," said KTMB in a statement on Saturday.

For Ekspres Timuran N.26 (Johor Bahru - Tumpat), train services will cease in Dabong Station and passengers can continue their journey to Tumpat Station via bus.

For Ekspres Timuran No. 27 (Tumpat - Johor Bahru), passengers can take the bus from Tumpat Station to Gua Musang station and will continue their journey to Johor Bahru via train.

"KTMB apologises for the inconvenience caused. For further information, please contact the KTMB call centre at 03 2267 1200 or our website at www.ktmb.com.my," it said.

Residents from three villages in Kelantan's Kuala Krai have been evacuated to four relief centres due to floods following heavy rains in the interior.

Homes have been flooded to a depth of about one metre following the downpour.

According to the Drainage and Irrigation Department website, the levels of three major Kelantan rivers were rising as of 1pm.

33 Terengganu schools cannot reopen tomorrow due to floods
BERNAMA New Straits Times 31 Dec 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: Thirty-three schools in Terengganu will not reopen in the new year as scheduled tomorrow. The floods have made sure of that.

These schools are either flooded, the access roads are flooded or they are being used as flood relief centres. Terengganu Education Department director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said the schools were located in five districts, with the highest number of 22 in Hulu Terengganu.

Five schools were affected in Marang, three in Kuala Terengganu, two in Setiu and one in Dungun, he said.

Safruddin Ali said six schools in Hulu Terengganu hit by the floods were Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Teris, SK Tapah, SK Tengkawang, SK Kuala Ping, SK Kua and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Bukit Diman.

"Sixteen schools in the district cannot operate tomorrow because the access roads are flooded. They are SK Padang Setebu, SK Sungai Berua, SK Sungai Buloh, SK Kuala Jenderis, SK Matang, SK Lubuk Periuk, SK Bukit Tadok, SK Nibong, SK Betong, SK Pereh, SK Felda Tersat, SK Menerong, SK Cheting, SK Padang Setar, SMK Menering and SMK Kuala Jenderis," he said to Bernama. He said SK Sentol Patah in Marang was flooded while four other schools - SK Kubu, SK Pengkalan Berangan, SK Bukit Gasing and SMK Merchang - were being used as flood relief centres.

In Kuala Terengganu, he said, three schools were flooded, namely SK Kampung Bukit in Chendering, SK Undang and SK Padang Midin.

"In the Setiu district, two schools have been closed," he said, adding that SMK Langkap had been turned into a flood relief centre while SK Merbau was flooded. Safruddin Ali said SK Seri Paka in Dungun was closed because it was flooded.

He advised parents of school-going children to keep tabs on the situation at the respective schools, saying they would only reopen when the floodwaters receded. -- Bernama


Category 2 storm warning issued
The Star 1 Jan 17;

PETALING JAYA: The east coast is experiencing rough seas, strong winds and high waves, which can pose a danger.

As such, the Meteorological Depart­ment (MetMalaysia) has issued a Category 2 warning that winds from the north-east measu­ring between 50kph and 60kph, with waves of up to 4.5m, will hit the coast of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and east Johor until tomorrow.

“The strong winds and high waves in these areas are dangerous to all shipping and coastal activities, including fishing and ferry servi­ces,” it said.

Category 1 refers to winds from 40-50kph and waves between 2.5m and 3.5m.

The highest Category 3 is when wind speeds go beyond 60kph with waves higher than 4.5m.

The department also issued a Category 1 warning for Sarawak’s coast areas until tomorrow.

It said this would present a danger to small boats, as well as maritime and recreation activities.

In a separate notice, the department said there was continuous rain in Terengganu, Kelantan and parts of Perak and Pahang yesterday evening.

On Friday, the department said it did not expect a “cold surge” from mainland China, which could cause extreme monsoon rainfall in Ma­­laysia until Jan 5.


East coast flooding gets worse
SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA The Star 1 Jan 17;

HULU TERENGGANU: Floods in the east coast took a turn for the worse, forcing the evacuation of thousands in Terengganu and Kelantan and closing down schools and roads.

In Terengganu, a downpour lashed the state continuously since Friday night, causing 3,058 people in six districts to be evacuated. The water rose as high as 1.5m.

The worst-hit district was Hulu Terengganu with 1,894 victims from 631 families evacuated to 21 centres.

It will be a bleak New Year for restaurant operator Ibrahim Muda from Ajil as his house and shop were both inundated.

“As I was trying to secure important documents to move to the relief centre, a friend rushed over to say that floodwaters had also entered my restaurant.

“I am sure the wooden tables, chairs and other electrical appliances have been damaged.

“I was hoping for a great start to 2017,’’ he lamented.

Sunira Musaraini Mustafa and husband Saiful Nizam Ismail, 35, from Kampung Bukit Kolam in Ajil said they were thankful to their nine cats for giving them a “wake-up call”.

“We were surprised to hear all our caged cats mewing aloud at about 5am. It’s like they knew the floodwaters were fast approaching our house.

“When we checked, the river had overflowed and we quickly move our stuff,’’ said Sunira.

State Civil Defence Force director Lt-Kol Che Adam A. Rahman said flood victims from Hulu Terengganu had started moving to relief centres from about 4.30am yesterday.

“Heavy rainfall also caused some roads in Hulu Terengganu, Marang, Kemaman and Besut to be closed, some to all and others to just light vehicles,’’ he added.

Twenty-five schools from five districts in Terengganu would remain closed until further notice, state Education Department director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said.

He said of these, 22 were located in Hulu Terengganu.

The 19 primary schools which will remain closed on the first day of school for 2017 are SK Teris, SK Tapah, SK Tengkawang, SK Kuala Ping, SK Kua, SK Padang Setebu, SK Sungai Berua, SK Sungai Buloh, SK Kuala Jenderis, SK Matang, SK Lubuk Periuk, SK Bukit Tadok, SK Nibong, SK Betong, SK Pereh, SK Felda Tersat, SK Menerong, SK Cheting, SK Padang Setar.

The three secondary schools affected are SMK Bukit Diman, SMK Menering and SMK Kuala Jenderis.

Meanwhile, an outing among eight friends almost turned tragic when two of them who were swept by strong undercurrents almost drowned.

One of them, Muazzam Shah Mahani, 20, said he almost lost his younger brother Muqri Shah and his friend known as Din.

It all started when the eight from Kampung Kolam in Ajil awoke in the morning to find floodwaters outside their homes.

They decided to have fun, by floating on huge tyre and in the swollen river.

“When we reached the bridge, seven of us had let go of the float to swim. All of a sudden I saw my friend Din struggling to reach the riverbank as the undercurrent was too strong.

“I turned around and saw my younger brother too was struggling on the other side but he managed to cling on again to the float,” Muazzam said, adding that he had to swim to get hold of Din who almost drowned.

By SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA

HULU TERENGGANU: Floods in the east coast took a turn for the worse, forcing the evacuation of thousands in Terengganu and Kelantan and closing down schools and roads.

In Terengganu, a downpour lashed the state continuously since Friday night, causing 3,058 people in six districts to be evacuated. Waters rose as high as 1.5m.

The worst hit district was Hulu Terengganu with 1,894 victims from 631 families evacuated to 21 centres.

It will be a bleak New Year for restaurant operator Ibrahim Muda from Ajil as his house and shop were both inundated.

“As I was trying to secure important documents to move to the relief centre, a friend rushed over to say that flood waters had also entered my restaurant. I am sure the wooden tables, chairs and other electrical appliances have been damaged.

“I was hoping for a great start to 2017,’’ he lamented. Sunira Musaraini Mustafa and husband Saiful Nizam Ismail, 35, from Kampung Bukit Kolam in Ajil said they were thankful to their nine cats for giving them a “wake up call”.

“We were surprised to hear all our caged cats ‘meowing’ aloud at about 5am. It’s like they knew the flood waters were fast approaching our house.

“When we checked, the river had overflowed and we quickly move our stuff,’’ said Sunira.

State Civil Defence Force director Lt Kol Che Adam A. Rahman said flood victims from Hulu Terengganu had started moving to relief centres from about 4.30am yesterday.

“Heavy rainfall also caused some roads in Hulu Terengganu, Marang, Kemaman and Besut to be closed, some to all and others to just light vehicles,’’ he added.

Twenty-five schools from five districts in Terengganu will remain closed until further notice, State Education Department director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said.

He said of these, 22 were located in Hulu Terengganu. The 19 primary schools which will remain closed on the first day of school for 2017 are SK Teris, SK Tapah, SK Tengkawang, SK Kuala Ping, SK Kua, SK Padang Setebu, SK Sungai Berua, SK Sungai Buloh, SK Kuala Jenderis, SK Matang, SK Lubuk Periuk, SK Bukit Tadok, SK Nibong, SK Betong, SK Pereh, SK Felda Tersat, SK Menerong, SK Cheting, SK Padang Setar.

The three secondary schools affected are SMK Bukit Diman, SMK Menering and SMK Kuala Jenderis.

Meanwhile, an outing among eight friends almost turned tragic when two of them who were swept by strong undercurrents almost drowned.

One of them, Muazzam Shah Mahani, 20, said he almost lost his younger brother Muqri Shah and his friend known as Din.

It all started when the eight from Kampung Kolam in Ajil awoke in the morning to find the outside of their homes flooded.

They decided to have fun, by floating on huge tire and in the swollen river.

“When we reached the bridge, seven of us had let go of the float to swim. All of a sudden I saw my friend Din struggling to reach the riverbank as the undercurrent was too strong.

“I turned around and saw my younger brother too was struggling on the other side but he managed to cling on again to the float,” Muazzam said, adding that he had to swim to get hold of Din who almost drowned.


RM500mil to be spent on flood mitigation projects
The Star 1 Jan 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: Some half a billion ringgit will be spent on various projects to mitigate floods around the country this year, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said flood mitigation would be one of the core focuses of the Government, with RM495mil expected to be invested in environmental projects to reduce disaster risks.

The ministry would be launching 69 Flood Mitigation Plan projects in flood-prone areas, he said in a statement.

Although the National Disaster Agency was ready to roll out relief efforts in the event of floods, Dr Wan Junaidi said these projects would become the first line of defence in reducing as many occurrences as possible.

He also said that more work would be put into enforcement against illegal logging and land clearing which contributed to water pollution and flooding.

The ministry is also expected to step up work in weeding out the illegal wildlife trade in the country.

“Through new strategies like the 1Malaysia Biodiversity Enforcement Operation Network and the national wildlife forensics lab, we ensure violators of the law will be punished.

“We also want to introduce enforcement guidelines for state governments and local councils to ensure our natural resources are managed properly,” he said.

Old laws and programmes under the ministry that did not fit efforts against the growing climate change threat would be discontinued by the end of the year, he added.

“We need to be more innovative in lessening bureaucracy so we can deliver more and meet the people’s expectations,” he said.

Malaysia, which ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in November, pledges to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.

Internationally, the country is expected to play a bigger role on the matter as it assumes the chairmanship of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) in Asia until 2018.

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