Best of our wild blogs: 8 Feb 16

Monkeying Around: Misconceptions about Macaques and how we can make it better
BES Drongos

NSS-Raffles Marina North-West Cruise
Singapore Bird Group

Splashing good time at Eastern Semakau
wonderful creation

Western Ubin with OBS
wonderful creation

Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) @ Chek Jawa
Monday Morgue

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Malaysia: Over 3,000 evacuated in Malacca floods

New Straits Times 7 Feb 16;

MALACCA: The number of flood victims evacuated to the 13 relief centres in Malacca increased to 2,659 people involving 587 families as at 8am today.

State director of the Malaysian Civil Defence Department (JPAM), Lt Col (CD) Effendy Ali said of the total, seven relief centres were opened in the district of Alor Gajah and three each in the districts of Melaka Tengah and Jasin.

“The number of victims evacuated to the Alor Gajah relief centre was 1,491, while the relief centre in Melaka Tengah has 1,078 victims and Jasin (90 victims),” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

He said that in the Alor Gajah district, the number of victims at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Belimbing Dalam relief centre was 552, Taman Seri Bayu Community Hall (492), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Pengkalan (328), Sekolah Kebangsaaan Ganun (59), Kampung Beringin Community Hall (34), Bukit Balai (18) and Bukit Tambun Community Hall(8).

In the district of Melaka Tengah there were 875 victims sheltered at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Munshi Abdullah, Masjidul Rahman Tanah Merah, Kerubong (118), and Sekolah Kebangsaan Kerubong (85), he said.

Effendy said 62 victims were sheltered at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Simpang Bekoh, Sekolah Kebangsaan Chohong (25) and Asahan Community Hall (3).

He said the JPAM and several security agencies provided assistance to evacuate the flood victims to the relief centres.-- BERNAMA

Floods: Over 600 evacuated in Negri Sembilan
New Straits Times 7 Feb 16;

SEREMBAN: The number of flood victims in Negri Sembilan rose to 671 from 166 families this morning.

State Civil Defence Department (JPAM) director, Lt Kol (CD) Kamal Mokhtar said as at 6am today, seven relief centres had been opened namely five in the district of Tampin and one each in Rembau and Port Dickson.

“In Tampin, 598 victims were sheltered at Sekolah Kebangsaan (F) Sungai Kelamah; Sungai Dua Mosque (22 victims); Parit Buloh Community Hall, Air Kuning (17 victims); Sungai Kelamah Community Hall (seven) and Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang, Gemas (four). “Meanwhile in Lubok Cina, Rembau there were 14 victims, and Surau Kampung Nerambai, Port Dickson (nine),” he said in a statement, here today.

Last night, there were 511 flood victims from 116 families sheltered at six relief centres.--BERNAMA

Floods: Over 400 in Kuching's relief centres
New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

KUCHING: The number of flood victims at two evacuaton centres in Kuching this morning dropped significantly to 492 from 107 families compared with 1,072 victims from 223 families last night.

State Civil Defence Department (JPAM) Public Relations Officer, Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said that as of 8.30 this morning there were only 492 victims from 107 families who were sheltered at two centres here, namely 464 victims at the Dewan Serbaguna Malihah and 28 victims at the Dewan Sinaran Lumut.

She said the victims were from Taman Malihah and Kampung Sungai Lumut here. “Some of the victims have already been allowed to return home after the water level receded,” said Siti.

She said the rain which occurred from early morning and the overcast sky resulted in the water levels in the Malihah and Jambatan Batu Kawa areas here to be at the danger point while in Kuala Maong, the water was at the alert level.--BERNAMA

98 families evacuated from flood-hit homes in Sarawak
ADIB POVERA New Straits Times 7 Feb 16;

KUCHING: A total of 217 people from 98 families were relocated to a relief centre after their houses were inundated by floods in Taman Malihah in Matang near here today.

All flood evacuees were placed at a community hall at the residential area after their houses were submerged by one-meter high water.

State Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Farhan Sufyan Borhan said the evacuation process commenced when the flood situation at the housing estate worsened at 6.30pm.

Continuous downpour triggered the floods.

"We fear the number of flood evacuees will continue to increase if the rain continues pouring," he said.

Johor records 69 flood victims
New Straits Times 7 Feb 16;

LEDANG: The number of flood victims in Johor rose to 69 this morning from 55 last night following an increase in water levels in several villages affected by the floods in the district of Ledang, here.

Ledang District Civil Defence Department officer Mohd Shahrizan Abd Aziz said the number of victims rose when two rivers, namely Sungai Kohong and Sungai Asahan overflowed their banks resulting in the surrounding areas being inundated.

“To date, 69 victims from 13 families from Kampung Seberang Gajah, Kampung Sialang Dalam and Kampung Tanjong Laboh had been evacuated to the Sekolah Kebangsaan Sialang relief centre,” he said when contacted here today.

Mohd Shahrizan said the victims included a handicapped person and four infants.

The relief centre was opened from 6 pm yesterday.--BERNAMA

79 victims sheltered in Segamat
The Star 8 Feb 16;

MUAR: A flood relief centre has been opened in Segamat district after flood waters in Kampung Awat, Gemas rose following heavy rain.

According to the Segamat District Disaster Management Committee, 20 people from five families were moved to the Kampung Awat community hall.

In Ledang district, 59 victims are still being housed at SK Sialang.

Ledang Department of Civil Defence officer Mohd Shahrizan Abd Aziz said they comprised 34 adults, 15 children, five senior citizens, one handicapped person and four babies.

All the victims were from Kampung Seberang Gajah, Kampung Sialang Dalam and Kampung Tanjong Laboh, he added.

He said there was sufficient supply of food and other basic necessities for the victims.

"They are all in good health except for an elderly villager who was referred to Tangkak Hospital for a medical examination, but he is alright,” Mohd Shahrizan said.

He said all the relevant agencies were monitoring the situation and on the alert. — Bernama

Badly damaged Jln Tampin-Gemas closed to road users
NUR AQIDAH AZIZI New Straits Times 7 Feb 16;

GEMAS: As of 11am today, the Kilometer 43 Jalan Tampin-Gemas which has been closed yesterday due to the overflowing of Sungai Kelamah that had inundated the road is still closed to all road users.

A spokesman from the state’s Works Department said, although the water level in the area had receded today, the road was damaged and needed to be monitored before it could be reopened to the public.

“The bridge across the Sungai Kelamah too is badly damaged.

We need to clean and fix it first before we can open it to all road users,” he said.

The Kilometer 43 Jalan Tampin-Gemas has been closed since yesterday’s morning and all road users from Gemas heading to Tampin and Kuala Pilah will have to use alternative roads, via FELDA Bukit Rokan in Gemencheh and FELDA Pasir Besar in Gemas.

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Malaysia: Families living next to Terengganu coastline evacuated due to high waves

ZARINA ABDULLAH New Straits Times 8 Feb 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: Twenty nine people from four families were evacuated from their homes following huge waves and high tide near Kampung Tengah Mengabang Telipot here tonight.

Terengganu Civil Defence Department Lt Ahmad Kamal Hakim said the four houses, located along the coastline, were hit by huge waves which started at 9pm.

Ahmad Kamal said all the evacuees are now seeking shelter at their relatives' homes nearby.

It was learnt that the department's officers were at the scene to monitor the situation.

Villagers evacuated as huge waves pound Kuala Nerus

KUALA NERUS: Huge waves along the coastal stretch in Mengabang Telipot here have forced four families to be evacuated from their homes.

The 29 people from Kampung Tengah, in Mengabang Telipot, are now temporarily taking shelter with relatives.

According to the Meteorological Department, villagers along the coast can expect strong waves as high as 4.5m and winds up to 60kph.

Kuala Nerus district disaster management committee secretariat Lt Ahmad Kamal Hakim said those affected were evacuated for safety reasons.

The Meterological Department expects the situation to persist until Monday.

On Jan 26, huge waves wreaked havoc, causing massive soil erosion, partly destroying a village house and damaging three others.

The incident resulted in 37 people being evacuated from Kampung Tanjung Gelam and Kampung Tengah.

Dept warns of choppy seas until Tuesday
The Star 8 Feb 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Strong winds and choppy seas along waters off the coast of the east coast states as well as Sarawak and Sabah will continue until tomorrow.

According to a Meteorology Department statement here, the affected areas were the waters off Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, east Johor, Sarawak, Labuan and Kudat, and the west coast and interiors of Sabah.

“This is due to strong north-east winds of about 60km an hour, with waves reaching 4.5m which are expected in these areas,” the statement said.

“The strong winds and choppy seas are dangerous to all beach activities and shipping, including workers on oil rigs,” the statement said.

During the same period, similar conditions are expected to continue in the waters of Condore, Reef North, Layang-Layang, Samui, Palawan, Tioman, Bunguran, Reef South and Kuching. — Bernama

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Indonesia: Dengue emergency declared in some regions

Tama Salim and Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, The Jakarta Post 7 Feb 16;

The Health Ministry has stepped up efforts to mitigate the outbreak of dengue fever, which has in some provinces prompted local authorities to declare an emergency.

Health Ministry spokesman Oscar Primadi said the ministry had dispatched technical teams to regions across the country for epidemiology studies and to conduct preventive measures, including fogging to exterminate the Aedes mosquito responsible for the vector-borne disease.

“For early detection, the Health Ministry has sent rapid diagnostic tests [to the regions]. Logistical support will be provided by the central government to provincial administrations based on demand, as several regions already have their own equipment,” he said on Saturday.

Data from the ministry’s directorate of contagious vector-borne and zoonotic diseases shows the fever has claimed 25 lives out of the 492 people who contracted the disease throughout January.

The ministry said 11 regencies and municipalities in seven provinces had declared dengue outbreak “extraordinary occurrences”.

The regencies and municipalities are Tangerang in Banten; Lubuklinggau, South Sumatra; Bengkulu; Denpasar and Gianyar in Bali; Bulukumba, Pangkep, North Luwu and Wajo in South Sulawesi; Gorontalo; and Kaimana in West Papua.

“Several locations with extraordinary occurrences, such as Kaimana, have already asked for additional rapid diagnostic tests to hasten early detection. Right now, there are no more dengue hemorrhagic fever cases in Kaimana,” Oscar said.

However, Oscar said in some places, like Banten, dengue continued to occur, and the ministry would keep distributing vector-control equipment along with the technical team.

Meanwhile, the head of the blood transfusion unit at the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in Padang, Widiarman, said on Friday there was an extreme shortage of blood supply, which could complicate efforts to tackle dengue. “We are asking for donors or relatives to overcome the deficiency,” he told The Jakarta Post.

The West Sumatra Health Agency has stated that 150 of the 700 cases of dengue in the province had occurred in Padang. Four fatalities were recorded in Padang and one in Bukittinggi.

Separately, Hanny Moniaga of the Indonesian Diaspora Global Network Health (IDGNH) said the government had not been effective in its dengue mitigation efforts as it continued to rely on a singular approach.

Hanny said the government needed to look beyond the scope of health in mitigation efforts and treatment. “The problem has always been the same, and dengue fever should not be considered an issue that only officials from the Health Ministry can deal with,” Hanny told the Post on Saturday.

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