Malaysia: King tides force hundreds of coastal villagers to flee homes

G.C. TAN The Star 21 Sep 16;

SUNGAI PETANI: The number of villagers evacuated from floods caused by unusual high or king tides in Kota Kuala Muda near here has risen to 769.

The victims who rose from 432 on Monday were moved to five relief centres by 4pm yesterday.

They are from 195 families in six villages - Kampung Paya, Kampung Sungai Yu, Kampung Sungai Meriam, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Ujung Matang and Kampung Padang Salim.

They were evacuated to SK Seri Kuala, Kampung Paya community hall, Kampung Sungai Yu surau, Telok Amboi community hall and the home of the Sungai Meriam Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman when the floods hit more areas yesterday.

Kuala Muda district Civil Defence officer Azahar Ahmad said heavy rain and strong winds had worsened the king tides.

Kedah Housing and Local Government, Water Supply, Water Resources and Energy Committee chairman Datuk Badrol Hisham Hashim visited five of the affected villages yesterday, accompanied by Pantai Merdeka assemblyman Ali Yahaya.

He said the state government would seek federal aid to upgrade the beach bunds at several villages in Kota Kuala Muda to make sure that they were not affected each time a king tide phenomenon occurred.

He said a working paper on the matter had been prepared and would be forwarded to the related ministry and the Economic Planning Unit so that the project could be carried out soon.

“The estimated cost of the project which will stretch for 8km is about RM16mil. The upgrading include road repairs, buffering of eroded areas and building of wave breakers.

“The present beach bunds are unable to offer much protection and do not function well, causing sea water to overflow into padi fields and houses of the villagers,” Badrol added.It was reported yesterday that 432 people from the six villages were evacuated to three relief centres after flood waters reached up to 2.9m-high.

224 evacuated in Selangor after high tide causes floods
The Star 20 Sep 16;

SHAH ALAM: Floods triggered by the high-tide phenomenon forced the evacuation of 224 people from 52 families to three relief centres in Selangor overnight.

The evacuees were from Kampung Sungai Air Tawar, Sabak Bernam (57 residents), Kampung Tok Muda, Kapar, Klang (152) and Kampung Tok Adam, Tanjong Karang (15), said Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul.

The relief centres were opened at the Kampung Tok Muda hall, Lorong Hamzah 2 community hall in Kampung Tok Adam and Sungai Air Tawar community hall.

“Several other areas in the Klang, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam districts were also affected by floods but no one was evacuated,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

These areas were Kampung Sungai Pinang, Pulau Indah, Jalan Klang, Banting, Pandamaran, Taman Selat Damai and Port Klang in the Klang district; Bagan Pasir Penambang town in the Kuala Selangor district and Tebuk Mendeleng and Sungai Lang in the Sabak Bernam district, he said.

Mohd Sani said the Sepang and Kuala Langat districts were unaffected by floods.

He advised people living near rivers and the sea to remain alert and take precautionary measures against the possibility of floods over the next few days. - Bernama

Wrath of Nature batters the coast
ARNOLD LOH The Star 21 Sep 16;

GEORGE TOWN: Raging seas caused by stormy winds overturned a barge off Gurney Drive, sinking an excavator doing reclamation work, and forced a ferry from Penang to Langkawi to turn back.

Waves rose as high as 3.5m and the tide swelled from a low 0.63m to 2.53m from 9.30am yesterday.

In just eight seconds, the barge carrying an excavator about 250m from the Gurney Drive coastline keeled over, plunging the machine and its operator into the sea.

A 70-second video in Penang Kini’s Facebook page showed the barge heaving dangerously in the waves as the unidentified operator attempted to use the excavator arm to steady his machine.

But the waves continued tilting the barge until its sea-facing side arched skyward, barely leaving the operator time to scramble out of the cab as the barge flipped over.

Fortunately, he only suffered minor bruises, according to a statement from developer Eastern and Oriental Berhad, in charge of the reclamation.

It said the contractors have begun salvaging the equipment.

Meanwhile, the 8.30am ferry from Swettenham Pier to the Kuah jetty in Langkawi turned back after sailing just a few nautical miles.

“The sea was too choppy. It gave the passengers a rough ride and the ferry captain made a safety call to turn back,” said a spokesman from the ferry service.

He said the trip was postponed to 2pm while the 10.30am ferry from Langkawi to Penang was also postponed to 3pm.

At 6am, the Malaysian Meteoro­logical Department had issued a rough seas warning from Penang to west Johor.

“We are having an exceptional spring tide season.

“Coupled with rainy weather, the waves can rise above 3.5m with wind speeds of up to 50kph,” said a spokesman from the Penang station when contacted.

The department has cancelled the rough seas warning but continues to forecast stormy weather until Monday. It also warns that stormy seas off Phuket in Thailand would last until today.

In Petaling Jaya, Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said MetMalaysia issued warnings of rough winds since last Wednesday.

During the southwest monsoon, the squall line phenomenon – which is a line of thunderstorms – can cause thunderstorms along with strong winds and waves in the coastlines off the Straits of Malacca.

“At the moment, the high tide is also caused by the position of the moon which is close to the earth.

“As a result, these three incidents occuring simultaneously caused the low-lying areas near the beaches to be flooded due to the high tide,” he said in a statement.

Selangor prepares for tidal waves till year end
The Star 21 Sep 16;

KLANG: Tidal waves are expected to occur from the middle of next month to December and given this, the Selangor government is putting in place the necessary precautionary measures.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has instructed all the relevant government agencies in the state to be prepared for the situation.

"All agencies and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) have to repair river banks that are weak so that there won't be problems of the banks and bunds breaking in future," said Azmin when visiting flood victims at the Kampung Tok Muda community hall Wednesday.

Executive councillor in charge of infrastructure, Zaidy Abdul Talib (pic), said the floodings in the past days would worsen if there is a heavy downpour and surge in the waves at the same time.

He advised people living near flood prone areas to be cautious of a possible repeat of the recent flooding and keep up with the latest updates and instructions given by the relevant authorities.

"The state government has taken the necessary measures by repairing all the bunds damaged by the big waves," Zaidy said in a statement.

He said the DID had repaired the bunds that were damaged at two locations in Sungai Air Tawar, Sabak Bernam.

"The damaged bunds in Kampung Sungai Lang and Kampung Sungai Apong are being repaired now," he said.

Several locations along Selangor's coastaline were thrown into chaos after high tides measuring up to 5.6 metres slammed the shoreline on Monday and Tuesday.

The last time such an occurrence took place was almost two decades ago.

High-tide phenomenon: Over 1,000 people evacuated
BERNAMA New Straits Times 21 Sep 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 1,089 residents from areas hit by the high-tide phenomenon have been relocated to several relief centres until late this afternoon.

The two-day phenomenon which first occurred on Sunday was due to the gravitational forces of the moon and sun (also known as spring tide) and at the same time, caused by strong southwesterly winds.

Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES) deputy director Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah said the spring tide phenomenon occurred twice a month the new and full moon.

“The spring tide occur when the earth, moon and sun are paralelled, (and) the gravitational forces of the moon and sun will contribute to the higher-than-normal tides,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Azizan said the strong southwesterly winds, on the other hand, would occur in the west coast of the Peninsular Malaysia from May to September each year.
The two conditions had
contributed to the unusual high-tide phenomenon, he said.

Asked whether a detailed studies was needed to analyse the local weather conditions especially on the high-tide phenomenon, Azizan said it was not necessary because the existing technologies were now sufficient to overcome the situation.

“The phenomenon of tides is common. The existing technologies are able to monitor the height of the waves for the past several days. People can also see the graph of water level which is updated by the hour online,” he said.

Until late this afternoon, a total of 97 people in Perak had been relocated to three relief centres, namely the Kampung Panchor Public Hall, SK Semenang and the Kampung Nelayan Public Hall.

In KEDAH, 769 evacuees were housed at five relief centres in Kuala Muda, namely SK Seri Kuala (267 people); Kampung Sungai Meriam Development and Security Committee House (262); Kampung Paya Hall (94); Kampung Sungai Yu Surau (74) and Telok Amboi Hall (72).

In SELANGOR, a total of 224 people out ouf 52 families had been evacuated to three centres since last night, namely Kampung Tok Muda Hall in Kapar, Klang; Lorong Hamzah 2 Community Hall in Kampung Tok Adam, Tanjong Karang; and Sungai Air Tawar Public Hall, Sabak Bernam.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department Operations Division assistant director Mohd Sani Harul said the affected villagers were from Kampung Sungai Air Tawar(57 people), Kampung Tok Muda (152) and Kampung Tok Adam (15).

He said some 1,300 members from 32 fire stations in the state were put on standby to and monitor any possibility of massive flood in the areas.

Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said strong southwesterly winds of between 40 and 50 km per hour with big waves to a height of 3.5 metres, is expected to occur in waters off Phuket, namely in the northwest of the Peninsular Malaysia until tomorrow.

He advised residents near the coastal areas to take precautionary measures and to always updated themselves with latest weather forecast. -- Bernama

RM3m to upgrade & strengthen bunds along Selangor coastline
DAWN CHAN New Straits Times 21 Sep 16;

KLANG: The Selangor government has approved an allocation of RM3 million for the purpose of upgrading and strengthening bunds along the coastline in preparation for the high tide phenomenon in the future.

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he has directed the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to repair broken and old bunds, especially in flood prone areas, as a proactive measure as there are possiblities of the high tide phenomenon reoccuring in mid Oct, Nov and Dec.

"The possibility of the high tide phenomenon happening again in the next few months were based on the information received from Lembaga Urus Air Selangor.

"The DID and other state agencies need to repair bunds that are weak so that it would not be affected in the future," he said after visiting flood victims at the Kampung Tok Muda relief centre in Kapar today.

Meanwhile, a Selangor Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said three temporary relief centres in the Klang, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam districts where families were evacuated to since Sunday have been closed.

The Kampung Tok Muda hall, which housed 34 families with 152 members and at Lorong Hamzah 2 in Tanjong Karang, which had three families with 15 members, were closed at 2pm today.

The Sungai Air Tawar temporary relief centre in Sabak Bernam, which housed 54 victims from 15 families, was closed at 3pm.

The spokesman added that the department will work closely with the Civil Defence Department and the local authorities in the cleaning up the victims' homes.