KOTA BARU: THE number of flood victims in Kelantan continues to rise, with 30,518 people evacuated to relief shelters in nine districts last night, compared with 23,000 earlier in the day.
As of press time, the flood situation has improved in Pasir Mas, which had been the worst-hit area, but the situation remained critical in Kuala Krai and Gua Musang.
The number of flood evacuees in Gua Musang rose to 7,385 last night, followed by Pasir Mas (6,663), Kuala Krai (4,868), Tumpat (4,432), Tanah Merah (3,588), Jeli (1,342), Kota Baru (1,056), Pasir Putih (602) and Machang (586).
More people are expected to be evacuated as the water levels of major rivers in the state keep rising.
As at 9pm, the water level of Sungai Kelantan at the Sultan’s Pier here was at 6.41m, more than a metre above the danger mark of 5m, while the level of the river at Krai Steps was 33.58m, almost 10m above the danger level.
All roads from the west coast to here have been cut off, with the exception of the Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan-Kuala Terengganu-Kota Baru stretch.
The Kota Baru-Gua Musang-Kuala Lumpur road is inaccessible because of floods in Sungai Durian, Kuala Krai and a landslide at Bukit Tujuh in Merapoh, Pahang.
The Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai road and the East-West Highway through Grik in Perak was also closed to traffic after part of the road caved in.
In Kuala Krai, some 500 victims taking shelter at SMK Manek Urai faced danger as floodwaters rose to the third floor of the school building.
The centre was opened yesterday morning and the evacuees have been moved to the fourth floor.
A state fire and rescue spokesman said they were in a quandary and were searching for a safer place to relocate the flood victims.
“We did not expect the shelter to be flooded. We have personnel on standby at the school,” he said.
When contacted, Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Hussin Ab Rahman said additional helicopters might be deployed to transport rescue boats to flood-hit areas in the state.
Hussin said the department would seek assistance from the Royal Malaysian Air Force to send the boats.
He also reminded residents here to be prepared for a possible sudden rise in water level.
“Some boats can be transported by lorries to the flood-hit areas via safe land routes.
“However, we are worried that some boats may not be able to reach stranded victims because of strong currents,” said Hussin.
At Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital, its spokesman said patients in the paediatric and maternity wards on the lower floors have been moved to the upper levels of the hospital as a precaution should the floods make its way to the premises.
Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has suspended the operations of 510 major sub-stations throughout Kelantan because of the severe floods.
State TNB general manager Md Yuslan Md Yusof said as of 6pm yesterday, 232 sub-stations in Gua Musang, 215 in Kuala Krai, 24 in Tanah Merah, 19 in Jeli, 12 in Machang, five in Tumpat and three in Kota Baru had been shut down.
“We have suspended the operations of these sub-stations because of the floods. We will resume operations once the floodwaters recede,” he said.