East coast flooding has stranded over 16,000

KOTA BHARU, 3 Dec 2019:

The number of flood victims in Kelantan rose to 13,080 involving 4,670 families this evening compared to 12,468 evacuees from 4,341 families in the afternoon.

According to the InfoBencanaJKM application, Pasir Mas recorded the highest number of evacuees with 8,641 people (3,384 families) who are being housed at 29 temporary relief centres.

The number of evacuees at six relief centres in Tumpat increased to 1,856 victims (613 families) compared to 909 people (281 families) at 1pm.

Pasir Puteh recorded 826 evacuees (219 families) at eight relief centres while in Kuala Krai 653 people (146 families) were placed at eight centres.

In Kota Bharu, 616 evacuees (168 families) were housed at four relief centres, 348 victims (102 families) were taking shelter at seven relief centres in Tanah Merah while 140 people (38 families) were being accommodated at three relief centres in Machang.

Meanwhile, according to ebanjir.kelantan.gov.my website, the water level of Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas dropped to 10.40m compared to 10.57m this afternoon, which still exceeded the danger level of 9m.

The water level of the same river in Kuala Jambu, Tumpat rose to 3.30m, exceeding the danger level of 2.50m compared to 3.29m at 1pm. The water level in Sungai Kelantan at the Guillemard Bridge exceeded the alert level at 14.69m.

Water levels in most major rivers in Kelantan are showing a downward trend due to the good weather since this morning. No closure of major roads was reported and the floods have so far claimed two lives.

Meanwhile, in TERENGGANU, the number of flood victims dropped to 3,004 people from 845 families placed at 66 relief centres, compared to 3,962 people from 1,146 families at 83 relief centres this afternoon.

Terengganu Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) director, Lt Col Che Adam A Rahman said the improved weather in Besut saw the number of victims reduce to 1,094 people from 325 families in 25 relief centres, compared to 1,393 people (from 368 families) in 31 relief centres this afternoon.

He said the flood situation in Hulu Terengganu was also improving, as the number of evacuees dropped to 294 people from 85 families in five relief centres, compared to 458 people (193 families) in seven relief centres reported previously, while in Setiu, the number of victims dropped to 974 from 261 families in 20 relief centres, compared to 1,406 people (398 families) placed in 26 centers this afternoon.

Victims in other areas include Kuala Nerus (333 people), Dungun (262), Marang (34) and Kuala Terengganu (13).

The government is willing to consider flood mitigation measures in Kelantan and Terengganu although it requires a large allocation, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Based on evaluation by several parties, she said Sungai Golok requires a RM700 million flood mitigation allocation while the one in Besut requires RM400 million.

“We want to solve the problem (floods) if possible we will do flood mitigation. We will look at the overall picture… we know that it will be very costly.

“It is estimated that at Sungai Golok the costs will come up to RM700 million and here (in Besut) alone it will be RM400 million. So this is not something that is simple and easy to handle. But the government will work towards it,” she said when met by reporters after visiting flood evacuees housed at the temporary relief centre in Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Payong here, today.

She said the government will also look into a more holistic solution to the annual floods in several places in the country, not only in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas and Tumpat.

Meanwhile. Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today instructed related state agencies to provide immediate assistance to flood victims in Thailand’s deep southern province of Narathiwat.

Thai government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat told the media that Prayut has acknowledged the flooding situation in 13 districts of Narathiwat where 41,369 people have been affected.

Narumon however said the flood is beginning to recede and should the rain subside, the situation will return to normal within seven to 10 days.

“The main rivers of Kolok, Sai Buri and Bang Nara have overflowed banks to the low-lying areas,” said Thongplew Kongjun, director-general of the Thai Irrigation Department, “Sungai Kolok is the hardest hit district, with water level as high as 2m.”

Thongplew said he had already instructed pumps installed to drain flood water into the Gulf of Thailand.

Schools and police stations located on higher grounds are temporarily providing shelters to flood victims.

State officials and charity groups meanwhile are still moving flood victims to safe grounds and providing them with food, drinking water and other necessities.

– Bernama