Malaysia: Kuala Terengganu struck by worst flooding since 2013/14 disaster

SIM BAK HENG New Straits Times 29 Nov 16;

UALA TERENGGANU: Cityfolk here briefly went into panic mode when continuous heavy downpour, which began at 8am, swiftly inundated major parts of the city, disrupted traffic, flooded homes and generally brought life to a standstill.

Many were immediately reminded of severe floods which paralysed much of the state from Dec 2013 to Jan 2014, displaced thousands of households and caused millions in damage.

The worst affected districts today were the areas of Taman Sri Intan 1 and 2, Batas Baru, Tok Jembal, Kampung Padang Air and Gong Badak, where water levels rose to as high as 1 metre by 10am.

Major roads became unpassable, including Jalan Sultan Omar, Jalan Kamaruddin and Jalan Batu Burok, with long lines of vehicles stuck until waters began to gradually subside after 1pm when the rain began to die down.

State Civil Defence Department deputy director Amir Sarrafudin Zalman urged people stay calm, as water levels near rivers and along coastal areas had not yet reached alarming levels.

He said the water was receding extremely slowly because of high tide. "The situation is compounded by several clogged drains in the city.

The situation is (still) under control, but we will (continue) monitoring, and will alert the public on the latest flood situation in the state," he said.

Checks showed that some families incurred damage to their property, as the sudden rise in flood waters had caught many by surprise.

Many were not able to save their belongings, as they were either at their workplace, or still sleeping, when waters rose.

Flash flood strikes Terengganu, 92 people from 19 families evacuated
ZARINA ABDULLAH New Straits Times 29 Nov 16;

TERENGGANU: Heavy rains for the past 12 hours have resulted 92 people from 19 families seeking shelters at three relief centres in Kuala Terengganu and Kemaman.

The victims were forced to leave their houses after their housing areas were inundated by about one metre-deep water following a flash flood.

State Welfare Department's flood portal stated that as of 8pm, 72 people from 15 families have been placed at SK Badrul Alam Shah in Kemasik.

Another 16 people from three families were moved to SK Telok Kalong, in Kemaman. In Kuala Terengganu, a family of four had sought shelter at the SK Gong Tok Nasek, in Kuala Terengganu.

Meanwhile, district police chief Deputy Superintendent Mohd Suhaimi Ali said Jalan Kuala Terengganu-Kuantan near Merchang, which was closed since noon, has been opened to all vehicles at 5.30pm.

East Coast lashed by heavy rain

KUALA TERENGGANU: Flash floods and thunderstorms threw life into chaos in various places across Terengganu, causing several road closures – and it was only the beginning of the bad news.

Worst is yet to come, said Terengganu Civil Force’s deputy director Mejar Amirsarafudin Zalman.

He said there would be high tides measuring about 2.5m in Kuala Terengganu and up to 3.2m from today for eight consecutive days, which could cause more major floods in the event of rain.

In Kuantan, it poured for more than 12 hours with the rains starting at 6am and stopping only at 7pm, a sign that the monsoon was about to hit the east coast of the peninsula.

The flash floods in Terengganu yesterday, which started after a heavy downpour at about 2am, caused two major roads in Batu Burok here and Serating Merchang in Marang to be closed to light vehicles, while Jalan Sultan Omar and Jalan Kamarudin near Kuala Terengganu Specialist Centre was inundated with water up to 0.4m. The road was not closed.

As of 6.30pm, the Serating Merchang road in Marang had reopened to vehicles.

Some low-lying areas around Kuala Terengganu, Kemaman, Dungun and Hulu Terengganu were affected but no major damage to properties was reported.

Eighty-seven evacuees from Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu were now taking refuge at SMK Badrul Alam Shah in Kemasik; SK Teluk Kalong in Kijal, Kemaman, and SK Gong Tok Nasek here.

They were all from Kampung Sarang Lang, Kampung Baru Kanan, Kampung Baru Kiri, Kampung Gong Cengal (all in Kemaman) and Kampung Gong Tok Nasek.

According to Mejar Amirsa­rafudin, the cause of the flash floods was the heavy downpour which met with the high tides although clogged drains could also be the reason for certain areas in the city centre.

He also urged the public to be more responsible and stop circulating false flood pictures through WhatsApp.

“We also urge the public not to panic following the spreading of photographs as some were taken in a way to make it look like a disaster.

“The Civil Defence Force is monitoring the situation constantly and we are in contact with all respective agencies including the Meteoro­logical Department and Department of Irrigation and Drainage for immediate reports on flood eventualities,” he said, adding that the public could log on to or call the operation room for information.

Meanwhile, Mahathir Md Daud, from Kampung Durian Burung here, said it took only 10 minutes for the water level to rise and inundate his house in the morning.

“This is the first time a flash flood occurred in the 45 years that the house has been standing. Everything happened so quickly that we were unable to carry anything.

A car makes its way down a flooded road in Kuala Terengganu.

“We will have to start packing and moving our belongings to a higher place as the flash flood was a warning there could be a bigger one coming soon,” he said, adding that the floodwaters had caused slight damage to his sofa set and the motors in his two refrigerators.

Housewife Rosmah Engah, 36, from Kampung Batu Penunggul, Marang, was a very frustrated woman.

She said such flash floods were a norm every time it rained heavily for six continuous hours in her area.

She blamed poor drainage for causing the flash floods which saw her house inundated at about noon.

Terengganu floods: More people move to relief centres at two districts

KEMAMAN: More people have been evacuated from floods as the Fire and Rescue Department starts monitoring river banks due to the high tide phenomenon.

The number of flood evacuees increased to 316 from 79 families on Wednesday from 87 evacuees on Tuesday night.

Civil Defence Force deputy director Major Amirsarafudin Zalman said the evacuees were housed at five centres in Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu.

Kemaman has 303 victims from 74 families placed at three centres while 13 victims from five families were housed at two centres in Kuala Terengganu.

The five evacuation centres are SMK Badrul Alam Shah in Kemasik; SK Teluk Kalong, in Kijal, Kemaman, Kampung Titian Berayun JKKK hall, SK Gong Tok Nasek and SK Chendering in Kuala Terengganu.

"The victims were all from Kampung Sarang Lang, Kampung Baru Kanan, Kampung Baru Kiri, Kampung Gong Cengal (all in Kemaman), Kampung Gong Tok Nasek and Kampung Chendering in Kuala Terengganu," Amirsarafudin said.

As of 8.20am, SMK Badrul Alam Shah in Kemasik shelters the most number of evacuees at 256 victims from 65 families followed by SK Teluk Kalong with 42 victims from eight families.

The first three evacuation centres (SMK Badrul Alam Shah, SK Teluk Kalong and SK Gong Tok Nasek) were opened between 3.50pm and 4.55pm on Tuesday.

Bernama reports that the Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department is monitoring rivers, beaches and several high risk areas due to the high tide phenomenon and incessant heavy rain since early Wednesday.

Its chief, Che Shaari Abdullah, said the monitoring of the areas which began from 9pm, involved a team of 30 divided into three groups.

"The groups are making checks in villages, towns, the shoreline and rivers. We are also placing markers to indicate the water level.

"Based on the initial checks, the situation is still under control although with a slight increase (in water levels)," he told reporters after conducting a check at Batu Buruk beach area.

Che Shaari also advised visitors to be on the alert and not to visit or carry out activities at risky areas throughout the monsoon season.

The Meteorological Department had forecast rains in Terengganu for the next five days which also coincides with the high tides of up to 3.2m in Kemaman and 2.5m in Kuala Terengganu.