Best of our wild blogs: 10 Feb 16

CNY Day 2: Cyrene Reef
wonderful creation

Snaky at Southern Semakau
wild shores of singapore

wintering grey plovers @ semakau south - 08Feb2016

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Malaysia: Big waves hitting coastline giving villagers the jitters


KUALA NERUS: Big waves that have been battering the coastline and causing erosion are giving villagers here and in Kemaman the jitters.

They live in fear of their lives and property each time this takes place and want the Government to resolve the problem fast.

On Sunday night, waves as high as five metres hit the Mengabang Telipot coastline here and Kemaman, forcing the evacuation of 67 people.

Two houses were badly damaged by the strong waves while several others were slightly damaged.

About a week ago, on Jan 26, some nine families consisting of 37 members from Kampung Tanjung Gelam and Kampung Tengah were evacuated for the same reason. Three homes were also damaged during the incident.

Army retiree Yushrey A. Rashid, 41, said he no longer felt safe at home.

In Sunday’s incident, a bedroom he had only recently added to the house was completely washed away by the waves.

“We do not know what to expect now. I fear for the safety of my family. It looks like the only option left for us is to abandon our house and live temporarily with relatives,” he said when met here.

Recalling his family’s ordeal, the father of a 10-month-old child said that at about 9pm on Sunday, five-metre waves hammered his house relentlessly, causing the extended bedroom to collapse.

“We sleep in that room most nights. However, that night, we decided to camp in the hall because we were warned by the local fishermen’s association about the possibility of big waves coming.

“The sound of the waves hitting the brick wall was loud and all of a sudden, we heard a crash.

“We were stunned to see that the bedroom had totally given way,” he said, adding that the huge waves had crossed the breakers situated about 15m from his house.

Apart from the bedroom, the waves also damaged the rear of his house.

Rakeah Ali, 73, also faced a similar predicament as Yushrey and feared losing his home.

He hoped the Government would take pity on the villagers and do something before they lose their houses.

Even the dead were not spared as the waves also reached a Muslim burial ground nearby.

Another villager, Razali Mamat, who was cleaning debris left by the waves on his father’s grave, said if the situation continued to worsen, the authorities should relocate the graves away from the coastline.

Yesterday, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman visited the location and instructed the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to carry out a thorough study to solve the problem.

As a temporary measure, he said the state government had allocated RM1mil to improve the structure of the wave breakers in the area.

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Malaysia: 2,700 evacuated due to floods

The Star 10 Feb 16;

KUCHING: Over 2,000 people have been evacuated as heavy rain brought floods to parts of Kuching and Bau districts.

As of 2pm yesterday, the number of eva­cuees had risen to 2,679, compared to 765 on Monday night.

State Civil Defence Department (JPAM) public relations officer Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said the flood victims had been moved to 21 relief centres – 14 in Kuching and five in Bau.

Seven of the centres were opened on Monday night as more rain fell while two more were opened yesterday morning.

Deputy State Secretary Datuk Misnu Taha said the weather was expected to improve by the end of the week.

“According to the Meteorological Department’s forecast, the rain will lessen over the next few days until Friday. The Drainage and Irrigation Department’s telemetry stations also showed light rain in most parts of Sarawak, unlike the heavy rain over the last few days,” he told reporters after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting yesterday.

He cautioned that water levels could rise again during high tide and advised residents in low-lying areas to be on the alert.

“The public can contact JPAM if they observe the water level rising. The Welfare Department is also ready to deliver food to relief centres,” he said.

In Malacca, the flood situation continued to improve as only 119 flood victims remained at Sekolah Kebangsaan Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah.

All other relief centres have been closed as flood water receded yesterday.

In Johor, only one relief centre remained open at SK Sepang Loi in Segamat, which housed 10 people from two families.

All other relief centres in Tangkak were closed yesterday evening as situation returned to normal.

Over 2,500 people evacuated as floods worsen in Sarawak
The Star 9 Feb 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: The flood situation in Sarawak has worsened with 2,679 people evacuated to 19 relief centres in Kuching and Bau.

The number of evacuees registered at 5pm saw more than a 100% increase from Tuesday morning.

Sarawak Civil Defence Department (JPAM) public relations officer Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said that 14 relief centres were opened in Kuching and five in Bau to house the victims from 694 families.

Fire and rescue department personnel were deployed at Kampung Batu Kitang, one of the areas affected by floods, to monitor the river level.

The situation in the Peninsular, however, showed a marked improvement.

In Malacca, only 119 flood victims remained at Sekolah Kebangsaan Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal in Alor Gajah.

State Civil Defence Department director Lt Kol Effendy Ali said the relief centre at Balai Raya Bukit Balai, Durian Tunggal, which housed 26 people, was closed at noon.

In Johor, three more relief centres in Tangkak and Segamat were closed as floodwaters receded.

According to the state Disaster Management Committee, the Kampung Awat relief centre in Segamat was closed at 5pm.

In Tangkak, the centres at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sialang and Sekolah Agama Bandar Tangkak were closed at 4.30pm.

The only remaining centre is at SK Spang Loi in Segamat, which housed 10 flood victims from two families. – Bernama

Holidaymakers stranded in Pulau Redang

BESUT: Some 100 holidaymakers were stranded in Pulau Redang since Sunday after boat services to the mainland here were suspended due to rough sea conditions.

Sixty of them managed to safely arrive at the mainland on Tuesday evening, leaving 40 behind in the island.

Boat services were suspended due to huge waves, strong winds and rough seas.

A hotel employee, who did not want to be named, said authorities issued a notice for boats to cease operations following the adverse weather since Thursday, which posed a danger to small boats ferrying tourists.

"Initially, we had about 100 tourists stranded. But some 60 of them were ferried by boats at 3pm and 5pm today (Tuesday) after obtaining approval from authorities.

"There are about 40 more who are left behind after they had decided to extend their stay until tomorrow (Wednesday)," said the employee, adding that they may be permitted to travel once the situation improves.

The huge waves measuring about 5m also saw some 100 tourists stranded on Pulau Perhentian since Thursday.

Besut district police chief superintendent Khaled Che Lah said they safely arrived at the mainland by boat on Sunday after getting clearance from authorities.

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Malaysia: Whale carcass found near Batu Pahat

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 10 Feb 16;

PONTIAN: A carcass of a whale was found in shallow water along Pantai Sarang Buaya near Batu Pahat, about 120km from Pontian.

Batu Pahat Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency enforcement chief Lieutenant Commander Maritime Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah said the agency received information about the matter from local fishermen at around 4.45pm yesterday evening.

He said the waters in the area were shallow and MMEA boats could not get closer to the animal for better investigation.

He said the agency would pull the carcass onto the beach area once it was high tide early today.

“Once the high tide comes in we will be able to bring the whale carcass towards the beach,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He, however, said the agency was not able to say whether it was the same whale which was found near Pontian waters on Monday.

The 15m-long whale, which was found swimming dangerously close to the coastal area along Pantai Rambah, was saved by a group of people who pushed it back towards the open sea.

The sighting of the whale on Monday sparked a frenzy among the people, with many taking pictures with their mobile phones.

One of the fishermen, Ismail Sirat, 47, who was involved in the rescue, said when he first heard news of the whale sighting, he dismissed it as a joke.

“But when I went to the Pantai Rambah recreational park, I saw a huge crowd of people looking at the whale.

“But no one went to help the animal. It was struggling as it was constantly moving its tail.

“I then decided to take my boat and rescue it,” said Ismail.

Ismail, with the help of his elder brother and a friend, managed to tie a rope around the whale’s tail and pull it to deeper waters.

Ismail added that about nine people, including two men from the Pontian Fire and Rescue Department, helped to push the whale while he used his boat to pull the 15m-long mammal.

“We struggled for almost three hours,” he said, adding that the marine police cut the rope around the mammal’s tail before it swam away.

“While we were pulling it to deep waters, the whale kept swimming against the flow and moving from side to side. It was quite dangerous for us, but we did it.

“The marine police followed the whale to the open sea, which was a huge relief.

“I feel very happy that I was able to play a part in saving that whale. I will relate the tale to my children and grandchildren,” said a beaming Ismail.

Whale found beached near Batu Pahat
MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 9 Feb 16;

JOHOR BARU: A whale was found beached along Pantai Sarang Buaya near Batu Pahat here and is believed to be dead.

Batu Pahat Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency enforcement chief Lieutenant Commander Maritime Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah said fishermen reported the incident at about 4.50pm on Tuesday.

He said the waters at the area were too shallow and MMEA boats could not get closer to the animal.

Once it is high tide, the carcass will be pulled towards the beach, Muhammad Zulkarnain said.

He, however, declined to confirm whether it was the same 15m-whale which was found near Pontian waters on Monday.

The whale, which was found close to the coastal area along Pantai Rembah, was saved by a group of people who pushed it back towards the sea.

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Indonesia: Thousands Forced to Flee as Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in E. Java

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages in Gresik district of East Java were forced to evacuate their homes on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks.
Aries Sudiono Jakarta Globe 9 Feb 16;

Gresik, East Java. More than 2,000 homes and hundreds of hectares of agricultural land were submerged on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains in Gresik district of East Java caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks. This resulted in three levees to collapse, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The levees — located at Gedangan village in Sukodadi subdistrict, Ploso Wahyu village in Kota subdistrict, and Tambakploso village in Turi subdistrict — were swept away by the raging water due to the heavy downpours in the area since Monday.

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages were forced to seek shelter at relatives' homes as the flood waters rose to as high as 100 centimeters on Monday. The water level receded to about 40 centimeters by Tuesday.

Two major roads in Gresik were also knee-deep under water in some sections.

“[The water] is gone now but last night [Monday] nearly a one-kilometer stretch of the road was flooded, particularly in front of the Bulurejo [local] market,” Gresik District Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Abu Hasan said on Tuesday.

Abu added that the BPBD had distributed some food to the displaced residents, but did not elaborate on what the agency had done to alleviate the disaster.

The Kali Lamong River is one of the offshoots of the iconic Bengawan Solo River that flows through both Central and East Java.

Heavy rains trigger landslides, claim lives
Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post 9 Feb 16;

Heavy rain continued to pour across the country on Monday, causing disasters that resulted in the deaths of several people.

High rainfall in West Sumatra from Saturday triggered landslides and floods across six regencies and cities, killing four residents while at least two others are presumed dead. The disaster cut access from the province to Kerinci regency in Jambi and areas in Riau, forcing 6,000 people to evacuate.

West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Zulfiatno claimed that six people were killed when their house in Jorong Taratak Tinggi, South Solok regency, West Sumatra, was buried by a landslide on Monday at 3 a.m.

“Four of the victims were found dead, while two others are still missing as of this afternoon. We have yet to confirm the names of the victims,” Zulfiatno told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said another victim, identified as Fadri, 16, was reportedly swept by an overflowing river in Limapuluh Kota regency as he was fishing.

Landslides and flooding continued from Saturday until Monday morning, affecting Solok city as well as Limapuluh Kota, Sijunjung, South Solok, Agam and Pasaman regencies.

“Flood victims were evacuated to safer areas as floodwaters engulfed homes at a level of up to 2 meters. They are in need of aid, such as foodstuffs and clothing,” said Zulfiatno.

In Limapuluh Kota, Pangkalan district was engulfed by 2 meters of water as a number of rivers burst their banks. The floodwater also swamped government offices and the Pangkalan Police station. Cars parked at a nearby market were submerged up to their roofs.

In Central Java, the bodies of seven people killed on Friday in a landslide in Penungkulan village, Purworejo regency, have been found, and the search was officially stopped on Sunday afternoon.

“The two latest victims were found on Sunday at 5 p.m. local time. A total of seven victims were found and the recovery effort has been stopped,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Yogyakarta chapter operational head Asbani said on Monday.

They were identified as Salimah, 60, and Triyanto, 9, while the five other victims were Sarengat and Sumini, both 80, Suprapti, 45, Fitri, 16 and Erni Yulianto, 8.

The landslide, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday after several days of heavy rain, caused a 30-meter cliff to collapse, burying two houses.

Asbani said his agency had deployed two rescue teams, each consisting of 15 members.

In Riau, high rainfall over recent days triggered floods in a number of villages in Rambah and Rokan IV Koto districts, Rokan Hulu regency.

In Rokan IV Koto, thousands of homes in four villages and two subdistricts were engulfed on Sunday by the overflowing Mentawai and Palis rivers, whose levels rose 3 meters higher than usual.

The water also swept away the Sei Mentawai Bridge, which is the only access route to Sipang Kiri, Cipang Kiri Hulu, Tibawan and Kubang Buaya villages.

In East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a nine-day search for Theresia Madis, 68, who was swept away by water from the overflowing Wae Togong River in Sambi Rampas district, East Manggarai, remained unsuccessful as of Sunday.

“We have been searching for the victim for nine days,” East Manggarai BPBD head Antonius Dergon told the Post.

In Siru village, Flores, NTT, rescuers managed to find two victims who were swept away by the Wae Laci River.

Rizal Harahap in Pekanbaru and Markus Makur in East Manggarai contributed to this article

Hundreds of flood victims evacuated in Bangka Belitung 9 Feb 16;

Hundreds of residents of Lampur Village, Bangka Belitung province, were evacuated from their houses on Tuesday after water levels reaching up to 3 meters in height inundated the area.

"The village is sheltering flood victims at a PT Timah building,” said Dani, a member of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

He explained that residents were asked to leave their homes temporarily due to the continuously rising water level caused by constant rainfall that started on Sunday and continued until Tuesday morning.

Armed with rubber boats, search and rescue (SAR) teams have been rescuing residents trapped in their homes, Dani continued.

The evacuation process was carried out in cooperation with village residents and officials, Dani said.

"Health officials are also on standby at temporary shelters," he added.

Assistance for victims is already flowing in from other residents in the form of human resources and food.

"Currently, our officers are alert and we urge the general public to be vigilant because the rain has not yet stopped," he said.

The areas around Central Bangka regency have also confronted severe floods.

Central Bangka BNPB head Kaharuddin said the floods had damaged infrastructure, destroying roads and bridges.

Kaharuddin added that rescue officers had been dispatched to several areas in the regency. (liz/bbn)(+)

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