Best of our wild blogs: 2 Jan 15

National Bather
from Saving MacRitchie New Blog!

The Singapore Big Year 2014
from Francis' Random Yaks, Articles & Photos

2015 - To reach for the skys
from Go Wildlife Now!

Birdwatching before New Year 2015
from Rojak Librarian

from The annotated budak

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Malaysia: MB refutes claim that uncontrolled logging caused floods

The Star 1 Jan 15;

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan government has refuted a statement by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that human negligence through uncontrolled logging may be a cause of the floods in Kuala Krai.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the Prime Minister should have spoken to the state government before making such a statement.

“The logging system in Kelantan has complied with the quota of 5,960ha a year set by the National Land Council.

“And the forest management by the government adheres to (the terms of) the certification of MC&I SFM, an independent international body, while the land opened by any party must have an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

“The natural disaster that ravaged Kuala Krai may have been caused by unusual rainfall as reported by the Meteorological Department and by illegal land opening by loggers, and the government has stepped up the monitoring of such activities,” Ahmad said in a statement here.

Najib on Tuesday, during a visit to Kuala Krai, told reporters that human negligence, including illegal logging activities, might be a cause for the devastating floods in the district.

The Prime Minister said the rampant opening of land especially for logging had an effect on the environment because there was then no natural retention to stop water from flowing directly to the river swiftly.

He added that the numerous logs floating in the river also had an effect when they became stuck under the bridges blocking the water from flowing and thus spilling over to the surrounding areas resulting in major floods.

Floods cost Kelantan RM200mil in losses
The Star 2 Jan 14;

KOTA BARU: The unprecedented floods in Kelantan have caused an estimated RM200mil in losses, said state flood disaster management director Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The floods damaged basic infrastructure in the towns of Gua Musang, Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah, Tumpat, Pasir Mas and here.

“This is only a ballpark figure and we have yet to tabulate the losses of the victims. We are now compiling the full data on losses from them.

“At the same time, the victims need temporary shelter, especially for areas in Gua Musang and Kuala Krai, before school starts this year.

“A total of 516 houses were destroyed in Gua Musang and 38 houses were swept away in Kuala Krai.

“All the flood victims in the state have been placed in 92 schools and they will have to be moved to other places when school reopens on Jan 10.”

He also said they would have to rush to set up temporary tents for victims who had lost their houses.

“The tents will be equipped with water, electricity and toilets,” he said here yesterday.

Mustapa said the number of flood evacuees in Kelantan had dropped to 40,000. The figure was 158,476 victims on Wednesday.

He also hoped the three police personnel injured in a helicopter crash in Tanah Merah would recover from their injuries soon.

In the incident at 6.45pm on Wednesday, four police personnel, who were transporting food rations, were aboard the police helicopter when it crashed in Kampung Rambai Gobek, Tanah Merah.

Pilot ASP Adli Ahmad, 34, co-pilot ASP Hasli Hassan, 36, and Sjn/Major Mohd Hood Abdul Majis, 43, were hospitalised at Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in Kubang Kerian and Tanah Merah Hospital.

A fourth personnel, L/Kpl Arhafidah Zakaria, 27, received outpatient treatment.

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