Monsoon misery begins
Boy fatally falls into canal amid serious floods across Kelantan, Terengganu
Thousands of families in Kelantan and Terengganu have been evacuated as the monsoon plays havoc with their lives and livelihood. Rescue forces and emergency services have been working overtime and food supplies are on the way. Unfortunately, the annual floods have also claimed their first fatality.
PETALING JAYA: The north-east monsoon has started in earnest, and so have the floods, with two states in the east coast hit heavily as government preparations go into overdrive.
The first fatality has also been recorded, the victim a seven-yearold boy.
The number of flood victims in Kelantan rose to 7,366 from 2,318 families as of 1pm yesterday, compared with 5,636 evacuees from 1,621 families at 7am, with two new flood-hit areas – Tumpat and Jeli.
According to the InfoBencanaJKM Application, 3,763 victims from 1,347 families have been evacuated in Pasir Mas and are being housed in 22 temporary relief centres (PPS).
It was followed by Kota Baru involving 821 evacuees (229 families) being housed in six PPS, 971 evacuees (231 families) in 17 PPS in Kuala Krai and 664 evacuees (178 families) in seven PPS in Pasir Puteh.
Meanwhile, a total of 426 evacuees (125 families) were housed in nine PPS in Tanah Merah, 260 evacuees (61 families) in two PPS in Bachok and 227 evacuees (78 families) in three PPS in Jeli.
There are 225 evacuees (67 families) in six PPS in Machang and nine victims from two families in one PPS in Tumpat.
In another development, based on the forecast.water.gov.my website, the water level at Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas, receded to 10.45m compared to 10.47m yesterday morning, which was still above the danger level of 9m.
The water level of the same river taken at Jenob in Tanah Merah was 24.37m ( danger level 23.5m) and the reading at Sungai Kelantan in Kuala Krai was 25.23m (danger level 25m), while the reading for the same river in Kusial, Tanah Merah was 16.12m (danger level 16m).
The water in two rivers has risen above the warning level, namely Sungai Lebir in Tualang, at 33.74m (warning level 31m) and Sungai Golok in Kuala Jambu, Tumpat, at 2.48m (warning level 2.15 m).
Three rivers showed readings that exceeded the alert level, namely Sungai Galas at Limau Kasturi, Gua Musang at 56.48m (warning level 56m), Sungai Galas in Dabong, Kuala Krai at 34.27m (warning level 32m) and Sungai Kelantan at the Customs Jetty, Kota Baru at 3.37m (warning level 3m).
The floods in Kelantan also claimed its first victim, a seven-yearold boy whose body was found in a flooded padi field in Felcra Teratak Batu in Pasir Puteh yesterday.
Mohammad Ilham Hasmadi was reported to have followed his uncle to an irrigation canal at about 6.30pm on Sunday to fish when he slipped from a plank bridge and fell into the swollen canal.
Kelantan police chief Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said members of the search and rescue team found Mohammad Ilham’s body at around 8am yesterday, about 400m from where was believed to have slipped into the canal.
The body was sent to Tengku Anis Hospital in Pasir Puteh for postmortem, he told reporters after attending a mass circumcision programme at the Kelantan police headquarters here yesterday.
The Kelantan Social Welfare Department (JKM) has placed various essential supplies, including food, at 209 forward bases in preparation for floods in the state.
Its director Said Sidup said the food supply included rice, canned food such as sardines, chicken curry, coffee, sugar, Milo and mineral water, which would then be distributed to the flood relief centres.
“The Kelantan JKM received an initial allocation of RM1mil from the Federal Government and RM300,000 from the state government for the purpose.
“The state government has also approved an emergency allocation if the need arises,” he said yesterday.
He said 50 of the forward bases are in Kuala Krai, followed by Kota Baru (33), Tanah Merah (33), Pasir Mas (29), Tumpat (16), Gua Musang (14), Machang (8), Pasir Puteh (8), Jeli (15), and Bachok (three).
Said also said the department identified 63 suppliers, such as Giant, Mydin, Econsave, Tesco and Pantai Timur Mart, to provide the necessary essential items.
“So far, the supply is enough to accommodate the needs of 13,000 victims for three days,” he said.
In Terengganu, the number of flood victims increased to 5,935 people from 1,796 families yesterday evening, compared to 5,807 people (1,719 families) in the morning.
Another five temporary relief centres were opened in seven districts, bringing the total number currently operating to 126 centres.
Terengganu Civil Defence Force director Lt-Kol Che Adam A Rahman said Besut was the worst affected area, recording an increase in the number of evacuees to 1,927 (520 families) at 52 relief centres compared to 1,787 people (484 families) in 45 centres earlier.
In Jertih, a convoy meant to provide relief for flood victims ended up needing to be rescued itself.
Eight volunteers ferrying numerous items for flood victims faced a precarious situation after their four vehicles stalled while trying to navigate 2m of water.
The volunteers, who were from Kuala Lumpur, who were members of the Malaysia International Search and Rescue (MISAR) team, were stranded at 8pm on Sunday.
Besut district police chief Supt Abdul Rozak Muhammad said the incident took place in Kampung Bekok, near Jertih, when they were leaving for another location after sending aid to Kampung Tenang and Kampung La.
“All the volunteers are safe. They were actually moving without informing the parties managing the flood operation rooms.
“Following the incident, I urge anybody and also non-governmental organisations to inform the police or the Terengganu Disaster Management Secretariat (of their plans) to facilitate the giving of assistance,” he said.
Abdul Rozak said the team was rescued with the help of villagers and their vehicles (four vans).
As of yesterday morning, the flood in Terengganu had affected 5,807 people from 1,719 families, while 123 flood relief centres had been opened.
To safety: Hole-in-the-heart patient Siti Nurul Batrisya Mat Imi on her way to Hospital Besut. The six-year-old was airlifted from Kampung La, Hulu Besut, after it was cut off by floodwaters.
High water road ways: Vehicles traversing the flood on their way to rantau Panjang after sungai Golok overflowed its banks. (Inset) Terengganu Fire and rescue deputy director sharikan bustaman (left) and his men carrying kidney disease and stroke patient abdul Latif abdullah, 76, to Hospital Hulu Terengganu for dialysis treatment. —
Stuck in the flood: (Left) rosma Zulaiha Zulkefeli, 28, (second from left) together with her brother adam Izham, 14, (left) at their house after it was inundated by flood waters in Kampung Nyatuh. (above) a flock of chickens left stranded on their coop in the same village. —