Malaysia: Annual monsoon season pounds Terengganu with torrential rain, strong winds

ADRIAN DAVID New Straits Times 26 Nov 17;

KUALA TERENGGANU: As the year end school holiday began, so did the annual monsoon season.

As reports of flooding in parts of Besut, Kuala Berang and Marang came in, other parts of the city centre experienced uprooted trees and rising water levels.

The state’s main rivers – Sungai Terengganu, Sungai Ibai, Sungai Kemaman, Sungai Setiu and Sungai Berang – are swelling up.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department reported that Sungai Chalok in Setiu had burst its banks at 7.47m high, which is above its 7m safe level, while Sungai Nerus at Kampung Pangkal recorded 20.57m (above its safe level of 20m).

Torrential rain has lashed the state since Saturday and the weather continues to be bleak as strong winds and thunderstorms continue to pound the state intermittently.

A trader at the exposition, Farhan Jusoh, 45, said that while a large number of the canopies were damaged, the heavy rain also resulted in losses as items such as toys, clothes, bags, shoes, souvenirs and food items were damaged.

“Many of us suffered losses and being small time traders, it will be difficult to get by,” he said.

Another trader, Aishah Yusof, 56, said she had to ‘close shop’ as virtually all her food was spoilt.

“This was a very bleak business outing for me and my family. We had looked forward for some brisk business during the school and year-end holidays.

“I hope the authorities will look into our plight,” she said.

Over at Marang, a Civil Defence Force spokesman said that senior citizen Norizan Abu Bakar, 80, had called in at 9.30am to report of uprooted trees in the neighbourhood.

Some of the large trees had fallen near the villagers’ homes but no serious damages or injuries were reported as at press time.

“We immediately despatched a team of six personnel on a Isuzu Delta lorry, equipped with chainsaws and ladders, to the scene.

“The affected areas were Taman Lot Marang, Wakaf Tapai, Kampung Kelulut, Medan Jaya, Alur Limbat, Kampung Kubu, Pengkalan Berangan and Kampung Rusila,” said the spokesman.

He added that clearance work was done by midday.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Civil Defence Force director Lt Col Che Adam Abdul Rahman advised the public to refer to the authorities for accurate and timely information on the monsoon floods.

He said that although waters were rising at rivers, the situation was still under control.

“The state’s integrated rescue teams are on standby to respond to any emergencies.

“We advise those living in low-lying areas to be prepared to be evacuated if the situation warrants, as continued heavy rain is bound to cause floods at these areas,” said Che Adam.

Additionally, the Malaysian Meteorological Department issued a severe weather warning over Terengganu and Kelantan till Wednesday.

The department expected adverse weather to continue over Tumpat, Pasir Mas, Kota Baru, Bachok, Pasir Puteh, Machang, Tanah Merah, Jeli, Kuala Krai and Gua Musang in Kelantan and over the whole of Terengganu.