MORE DISPLACED: 19,000 flood victims seek refuge at relief centres
THE flood situation in Terengganu and Kelantan deteriorated yesterday, forcing more than 19,000 people to seek refuge at relief centres last night.
Fair weather gave Pahang a respite but Terengganu had 11,489 people, more than double the amount of evacuees on Tuesday, according to Bernama. They are placed at 129 relief centres statewide.
Earlier in the day, Setiu was the worst hit with 2,666 people from 603 families taking refuge at 30 centres, followed by Kemaman with 2,272 people from 613 families abandoning their homes yesterday afternoon.
Dungun's 29 relief centres were packed as 1,983 people from 498 families sought shelter there. The state government's flood information portal, e-tindakan.gov.my, said the Hulu Terengganu and Besut relief centres were housing 1,390 people from 358 families and 1,088 victims from 243 families respectively as at 5pm yesterday.
Here and in Marang, 1,013 people from 266 families were evacuated.
A 15-year-old boy became the second flood victim yesterday when he drowned while trying to salvage his raft near his house in Bukit Mentok, Kemaman.
On Tuesday, 36-year-old mother of four, Samhanim Ramli, of Kampung Hulu Seladang, drowned when she slipped while fishing with her husband, Wan Imran Wan Sudin, near Sungai Lanjut in Hulu Seladang, Setiu.
At press time, six federal roads were flooded. The roads in Kemaman, namely Jalan Chukai-Air Putih and Jalan Felda Neram 1, were submerged in 1m floodwaters. In Hulu Terengganu, Jalan Kuala Berang-Sungai Tong, Jalan Mengkawang-Tersat and Jalan Pengkalan Ajal-Bukit Diman were flooded while in Besut, Jalan Seberang Jertih-Kuala Besut was inundated.
Kemaman police chief Superintendent Che Suza Che Hitam said a landslide occurred at Km139 of Jalan Jabor-Jerangau, near Kampung Air Putih. The road has been closed.
Bernama quoted Terengganu Education Department director Zakaria Hussin as saying that 15 schools in the state might be closed if the situation did not improve.
"If the floods do not subside, the 2013 school session for the affected schools will be delayed and replaced on Saturday."
Terengganu is scheduled to begin the 2013 school term on Jan 1.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to visit flood victims in Terengganu today. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said Muhyiddin would arrive at Kerteh airport at 2pm before being taken in a helicopter to visit flood victims at SM Bukit Mentok.
In Kelantan, the number of flood victims who moved into evacuation centres in seven districts rose to 6,757 last night, up from 3,000 on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the state flood operations centre said as of 4pm, the worst-hit district was Pasir Mas with 3,045 evacuees, followed by Tumpat (562) and Tanah Merah (272). Also affected were Pasir Putih, Machang, and Kuala Krai.
The spokesman said 1,371 families were taking shelter at 39 relief centres. He said the water level at the main flood assessment point in Sungai Golok, Rantau Panjang, was above the danger level of 10.38m. The danger level is 9m.
Eight roads were closed as they were submerged between 1m and 2m of water. They included Jalan Pasir Mas-Pohon Tanjung-Rantau Panjang, Jalan Pengkalan Rakit and Jalan Rantau Panjang Panglima Bayu in Pasir Mas, and Jalan Machang-Pangkal Meleret-Wakaf Bata in Machang.
The others were Km8 of Jalan Kampung Pepuyu and Jalan Tanah Merah-Kusial-Kampung Ipoh in Tanah Merah, and Jalan Cabang Empat-Kampung Jambu-Meranti and Jalan Pohon Tanjung-Pasir Pekan in Tumpat.
In Pahang, fair weather yesterday helped to reduce the number of evacuees from 3,000 to 1,712. Kuantan recorded the highest number of displaced, with 2,245 people from 567 families, followed by Pekan (205). Another 20 evacuees were housed at the Kampung Pagi mosque in Jerantut while 16 others stayed at the community hall in Kampung Perpat, Rompin.
State police flood operations centre spokesperson said four stretches, including Km18 of the Kuantan-Kuantan Port bypass and Kuala Kenau bridge in Sungai Lembing, were closed to traffic.
The other two were Jalan Kampung Terisik-Kampung Belebar and Sungai Oak bridge near Kuala Tahan in Jerantut. Additional repporting by M. Hamzah Jamaludin, A. Azim Idris and Zarina Abdullah