Best of our wild blogs: 8 Dec 13

Life History of the Chestnut Bob
from Butterflies of Singapore

Household Recycling Study: Summary
from Zero Waste Singapore

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Malaysia floods: After the 'surge', now the 'trough'

New Straits Times 8 Dec 13;

PAHANG ALERT: More flooding expected in low-lying areas

THE Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) issued an orange-level alert of continuous heavy rain in several areas of Pahang.

Many areas of the state, namely Kuantan, Pekan, Rompin, Temerloh, Bera, and Maran experienced intermittent rain yesterday and gloomy weather is expected to continue until today.
The situation is expected to cause floods in low-lying areas.

MMD central forecast division director, Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the heavy rain was due to a weather phenomenon known as "active monsoonal trough", which was different from the normal "monsoon surge" which caused the first wave of floods in the east coast.

"The monsoon trough is an area of convection (build-up of rain clouds) which lies close to the Equator during this time of year, and it spreads across Sabah and Sarawak, and the peninsula."
Helmi said unlike the monsoon surge which can be predicted a week ahead, it is difficult to predict this type of tropical weather system.

"The indications are not clear. Besides, we can only predict the weather when the radar indicates the formation of the clouds." He said the colour warning was usually reserved for monsoonal rain, but due to the rain intensity and its area of coverage, the orange warning was issued.

The warning indicates floods occurring and to warn those in the affected areas to prepare to evacuate if the situation worsened.

Meanwhile, heavy rain and thunderstorm warnings were issued for Perak (Kerian, Larut, Matang, Selama, Kuala Kangsar, Kinta, Manjung and central Perak), Selangor (Kuala Langat and Sepang), Negri Sembilan (Seremban and Port Dickson), Johor (Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru, Kulaijaya and Pontian), Pahang (Cameron Highlands, Lipis and Jerantut) and Terengganu (Dungun and Kemaman).

The heavy rain is expected to continue until tonight and the same weather condition is expected to occur in Pahang (Raub and Bentong).

These conditions are expected to cause strong winds and flash floods.

In Pahang, heavy rain pounded several districts yesterday, increasing the flood victims to 39,580 in the evening compared with 38,099 in the morning.

Raub became the latest district to be hit after eight people were moved to shelters while the number of flood victims in Temerloh was expected to increase by midnight after heavy rains yesterday evening.

Kuantan recorded the highest number of flood evacuees at 34,222 followed by Pekan (2,887), Temerloh (847), Maran (784), Jerantut (520), Rompin (153), Bera (106) and Lipis (53).
Four stretches - Km28 Jalan Sungai Lembing-Kuantan, Km72 Jalan Kuantan-Segamat, Km14 Jalan Temerloh-Bahau and Km 51 Jalan Kuantan Kemaman -- are still closed to all vehicles after being submerged by more than 1m of water.

In Terengganu, the situation was grim despite a decrease in the number of displaced victims yesterday.

As of 5pm, authorities expected the flood, which had receded slightly and saw eight of 76 relief centres statewide closed, to worsen as downpour since 11am did not show any signs of stopping.

Information received from the state's Disaster Operations Centre stated that there was over 85mm rainfall distribution at Sungai Kemaman due to the downpour yesterday, causing its water level to rise rapidly.

The flood caused phone communications in the district to be almost severed.

An officer at the district's Disaster Operations Centre said food and petrol supplies for purchase were scarce, with motorists having to go as far as Kijal and Kerteh, more than 15km away to refuel.

Kemaman district officer Mohd Kamil Othman said they were preparing for the worst.
He said several roads connecting Kemaman to Dadong, Air Putih and Teladas, were cut off due to flooding.

Meanwhile, the overall number of evacuees in the state, as of 4.30pm, decreased to 22,236 compared with 22,678 in the morning.

Kemaman made up the highest number with 18,576 victims in 43 centres.

In Johor, 1,639 flood victims were placed at 23 relief centres as more people left the centres for their home. The weather in most parts of the state was reported to be sunny yesterday.
In Kelantan, the situation in flood hit areas improved with only Pasir Mas affected. Six centres in Pasir Putih, Machang and Tanah Merah were closed in the morning after the evacuees returned home.

Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob yesterday said flood victims in the state will be given cash aid from the Tabung Serambi Mekah soon. Ahmad said each state constituency affected would receive between RM10,000 and RM15,000.

Second wave begins in Terengganu
The Star 8 Dec 13;

KUALA LUMPUR: A second wave of flooding has begun in Terengganu with more people affected by rising water while continuous rain in Pahang is putting the authorities and public on high alert over the next 24 hours.

However, both Kelantan and Johor saw a slight improvement after many flood evacuees were allowed to return home.

The Meteorological Department said that thunderstorms and heavy rain occurring over Pahang and Terengganu are expected to persist.

It added that the same weather conditions were expected to occur over Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

In Terengganu, the number of evacuees rose to 22,706 by evening, a drastic increase from the 6,758 sheltering in relief centres, after Kemaman was inundated again with water.

The National Security Council said the returning rain and high tide contributed to the floods, forcing more people to be evacuated.

“Several villages, which were not flooded at first, are now inundated, including Kampung Geliga, Banggol, Gong Pauh and Kampung Besut,” it said.

Communications in Kemaman have been affected with many electrical substations under water, making it difficult for flood victims to call up for help.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the army was getting ready to deploy its engineers to build a tactical bridge in Sg Limbungan Kemaman after a 5m portion of its river bank collapsed.

In Pahang, the Meteorological Department said an orange level alert had been issued for Kuantan, Pekan, Rompin, Temerloh, Bera and Maran in Pahang, which were expected to see heavy rains continuing until today.

Yesterday, the state capital, already reeling from floods that closed roads and shut down businesses, saw continuous rain from morning.

As at 6.15pm, there had been an increase of evacuees in Pahang to 39,580 people sheltering at 116 relief centres, the highest number among the states affected. Bera is the latest district to be flooded.

Third Division Commander Maj Gen Datuk Sheikh Mohsin Sheikh Hassan said 1,200 Armed Forces personnel were already involved in rescue operations while another 1,200 were on standby should a second wave of floods hit Pahang.

Stretches along several main roads – Sungai Lembing-Kuantan road at the 28KM stretch, Kuantan-Segamat road at the 72KM and Temerloh-Bahau road at the 14KM – are still closed to traffic after being inundated with more than a metre of water.

In Kelantan, 619 out of the 2,381 people sheltering in relief centres were allowed home after the weather turned for the better.

Although the water level had subsided somewhat, the level of Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang remained above the danger level at 10.26m.

In Johor, there was a slight drop in the number of evacuees from 1,633 to 1,538 with clear skies reported here and Kulaijaya.

The areas still affected by floods are Segamat, Batu Pahat and Kota Tinggi.

Johor still affected by floods with 1,224 evacuees at 17 relief centres
Yee Xiang Yun The Star 8 Dec 13;

JOHOR BARU: Flood waters have yet to fully recede in certain parts of Johor with 1,224 victims housed at 17 relief centres.

Segamat remains the most affected part of the state with nine relief centres open. The district and Mersing were affected by floods since Monday.

However, the relief centres in Mersing have since closed while Segamat still houses 582 victims from 145 families as of 9am on Sunday.

A check with the Johor flood operations centre showed that Pontian has three centres opened since Saturday to accommodate 414 victims from 110 families, and Batu Pahat has four centres sheltering 220 victims from 65 families.

The operations centre spokesman said that Ledang has one centre opened to house eight evacuees from two families while the flood relief centres at other previously affected districts like Kota Tinggi, Kulaijaya and Johor Baru remain closed.

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