Malaysia: Over 10,000 evacuated as Terengganu floods worsen

SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHWAandJO TIMBUONG The Star 4 Jan 17;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The floods in Terengganu have worsened with the number of flood victims in the state increasing to 10,770 on Wednesday.

At 6pm Tuesday, six districts - Hulu Terengganu, Besut, Setiu, Kemaman, Dungun and Marang - recorded more than 4,000 evacuees after low-lying areas were inundated.

The evacuees from 3,170 families were transferred to 125 relief centres in these districts.

The Social Welfare Department's InfoBanjir app showed that Besut recorded the highest number of evacuees with 4,170 victims, followed by Hulu Terengganu with 3,628 victims.

As of Tuesday night, 10 rivers had also breached the danger level.


Nine major rivers in Terengganu exceed critical level, evacuations underway
BERNAMA New Straits Times 3 Jan 17;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Drainage and Irrigation Department, via the website publicinfobanjir.water.gov.my, reports that four major rivers in Terengganu have now exceeded the danger level, two rivers have exceeded the warning level while three others are above the alert level.

One of the four major rivers is the Besut River in Kampung La, which is at 23.64 metres (exceeding the danger level of 21.80 metres), while the level of the same river at Jambatan Keruak is at 36.48 metres, exceeding the danger level of 35 metres.

Three other rivers exceeding the danger level are in Hulu Terengganu, Dungun and Marang: Sungai Berang in Kampung Menerong is at 25 metres (exceeded the danger level of 24.50 metres), Sungai Dungun in Kuala Jengai is at 22.21 metres, (compared to the danger level of 21 metres) and Sungai Nerus in Kampung Langkap is at 21.55 metres, compared to the danger level of 21.50 metres.

The portal reports that two rivers have risen above the warning level: Sungai Tebak in Kemaman, which has risen to 18.36 metres (compared with the warning level of 17.80 metres) and Sungai Telemong in Kuala Ping, which is up to 19.33 metres (compared with the warning level of 19.30 metres).

Meanwhile, the Dungun River in Pasir Raja has risen to 36.14 metres (compared with the alert level of 36 metres), while the same river at Jambatan Jerangau is at 10.91 metres (compared with the alert level of 10.90 metres).

Sungai Besut at Jambatan Jerteh has risen to 10.91 metres (compared with the alert level of 10.90 metres).

Continuous heavy rain since last night has resulted in the water level in several areas, which had receded, to rise again early this morning. Residents in Hulu Terengganu and Kemaman are reported to be in the process of evacuation to relief centres nearby. -- BERNAMA



Rivers reach danger level in two states
MARTIN CARVALHO, SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWA, andJO TIMBUONG The Star 4 Jan 17;

PETALING JAYA: Continuous rain over the next few days will worsen the flood situation in Kelantan and Terengganu as swollen rivers threaten to burst their banks.

As of 4pm yesterday, three rivers in Kelantan and 10 in Terengganu had breached the danger level while several rivers reached the alert level.

National Disaster Management Agency operations implementation division director Datuk Azizan Abu Taat said the situation remained serious in Kelantan, especially Rantau Panjang.

“We hope things will improve. However, rising river waters from persistent rain over the next few days will only make things worse,” he said yesterday.

He added that floods in Terengganu would also worsen if the state continued to experience heavy rainfall.

“At present, we have some 5,000 personnel on the ground to help with evacuation and relief operations and will be sending more to Kelantan and Terengganu,” Azizan said.

Several roads in both states were inundated and were partially or totally impassable to vehicles.

Careful now: A couple wading through the floods with their baby as they head to an evauation centre in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan. — Bernama
Careful now: A couple wading through the floods with their baby as they head to an evauation centre in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan. — Bernama

Just when the sun was seen in Terengganu on Monday, rain lashed most parts of the state that night.

The number of evacuees, which had dropped to 298 on Monday, rose to 4,352 as at 9pm at 77 evacuation centres.

Hulu Terengganu recorded the highest number of evacuees, with 1,845 at 24 relief centres, followed by Besut with 1,476 at 23 relief centres, Kemaman with 299, Setiu (443), Dungun (259) and Marang (30).

The floods, which started on New Year’s Eve, had affected the livelihood of many people, especially in Hulu Terengganu where 50% of them were either rubber tappers or farmers, and the rest small business operators.

Rohana Haksah, 37, said she and her farmer husband had to be evacuated and the plantation was inundated by floodwaters.

“Each day our combined income is about RM100.

“But it’s been four days with no income and we don’t know how long this will last.

“We are lucky that we have some savings to wait out these floods and to cater for our four children’s needs, but the expenditure has to be drastically reduced,” Rohana added.

Rubber tapper Mohammad Daud, 61, from Kampung Keruak in Jerteh, Besut, said his daily income of RM100 was important to him.

“I have 10 children and some of them are still in school.

“We shifted about 3am yesterday and looking at the weather I guess I will not be able to work for at least a week.”


24 schools closed on first day
The Star 4 Jan 17;

HULU TERENGGANU: Floods in many parts of the state forced 24 schools to be closed on the first day of classes.

State Education Department director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said yesterday that of the 24 schools with 4,196 students and 544 teachers, 12 were located in Hulu Terengganu, 10 in Setiu and one each in Besut and Kemaman.

“On Monday, we decided that only three schools will remain closed on Tuesday, but due to the rain later on Monday night, which caused many areas to flood, we had to order the 24 schools to be closed.

“This is for their safety as we saw that the weather and floods had worsened.”

However, the gloomy weather, the downpour and floods did not dampen the spirits of some 242 students of SK Tengkawang here.

They were all looking cheerful and excited on the first day of school, especially those in Year One.

Many of them were smartly dressed in their new school uniform and with their bags despite some being in slippers.

Muhd Thaqif Wafiq Mohd Ridzuan, eight, from Kampung Kepah here, said that he decided to wear slippers to school because the compound of his house was still flooded.

“I am afraid my new school shoes will get wet as there is still water surrounding my house.

“Furthermore, my feet have been itchy due to the floods and I am not able to wear my school shoes so my mother advised me to wear slippers,” he said.

Another classmate, Firdaus Mohamad Saiful Nizam, eight, was also unable to wear his school shoes because his house was also flooded.

However, he was happy to be in school after the long break.

“I got up at 5am today because I was excited to go to school,” he said.

Headmaster Suhaimi Wahab was glad that the school almost recorded full attendance, with only two absentees, but was worried that the school may be ordered to close due to the heavy rain.

“Some parents may not be able to send their kids if the road to the school is affected,” he said.

Rohayu Mat Ideris, 30, from Kampung Jeneris fetched her children from school at about 9.30am.

“It’s been raining heavily and I am afraid the roads heading to the school might be inaccessible,” she added.


Terengganu floods: 63 schools closed
SHARANPAL SINGH RANDHAWAandJO TIMBUONG The Star 4 Jan 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The worsening floods have forced a total of 63 schools to close on Wednesday.

State Education Department director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said the 63 schools, with a total of 16,938 students and 1,949 teachers, were in Hulu Terengganu (24 schools), Besut (19), Setiu (19) and Kemaman (one).

He said of the of the 63 schools, 51 were primary schools while 12 were secondary schools.

"Yesterday we announced that 24 schools would be closed but we had decided today that another 39 schools had to be closed due to the worsening floods," he said.


Flooding in Malaysia force 23,000 to evacuate
Channel NewsAsia 4 Jan 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: Floods in two northeast Malaysian states, Kelantan and Trengganu, have now forced almost 23,000 people from their homes and extra relief centres have been opened, rescue officials said Wednesday (Jan 4).

Seasonal flooding hits Malaysia's east coast states every year and regularly results in mass evacuations.

The latest round has forced authorities to evacuate 10,038 residents from Kelantan and 12,910 people from neighbouring Terengganu, officials said.

Heavy rain in the past five days has also caused 101 schools to be closed. Many roads are impassable and train services to some destinations in Kelantan have been suspended.

But no deaths have so far been reported in the two states.

Che Adam Abdul Rahman, civil department force chief in Terengganu, told AFP the number of evacuees rose sharply to 12,910 from 4,352 the previous day.

They are being housed in 139 relief centres that provide food, drinks and medical aid, he said.

"It is still raining heavily. Some 30 village roads are closed and water levels at some places are about one metre deep and we are using boats to evacuate villagers," he said.

In Kelantan, which suffered massive floods and major destruction of homes and infrastructure in December 2014, 10,038 people have been displaced by flooding.

The figure rose from 4,906 Tuesday, said Zainuddin Hussin, the chief of the state's civil department force.

Zainuddin said 74 relief centres are operating in Kelantan but rainfall was scattered and many rivers were no longer overflowing their banks.

Malaysia's worst flooding in decades in 2014 forced some 118,000 people to flee. Prime Minister Najib Razak came under fire after photos showed him golfing with US President Barack Obama during the emergency.

With a snap general election expected this year, Najib will visit Terengganu and Kelantan on Saturday to oversee the evacuations, his aide said.

Floods have also struck 10 villages in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo island due to heavy rain, the Bernama news agency reported.

The Civil Defence Force and other agencies were engaged in rescue work in the affected areas and other flood-prone villages.

- AFP/am

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