Major flooding woes in Kedah

JITRA, 25 Sept 2017: 

The flash floods which recently hit Kedah – resulting in the evacuation of thousands of people – have caused fears of the recurrence of the 2010 big floods.

Jamilah Ismail, 50, said the flash floods often reminded her of the tragedy experienced seven years ago resulting in losses of tens of thousands of ringgit.

“I had just bought my house a year earlier. All the furniture and electrical goods were still new. The water rose fast and reached six feet until we were not able to salvage anything,” she said when met at the relief centre at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Mahawanga here.

Jamilah, who lives at Taman Seri Utama near here said every time when the rainy season came, especially towards October, she and her neighbours would move their things to a higher grounds for fear of floodwaters which rose fast as their housing area was located near to Sungai Bata.

The 2010 floods saw more than 50,000 residents of the state evacuated to hundreds of relief centres, with Kubang Pasu district the worst affected.

The disaster also resulted in the closure of several roads and major routes including the North-South Highway (Plus) that were inundated by floodwaters, as well as the cancellation of several flights at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (LTSAH) in Kepala Batas as the water had risen to the runway.

Over 2,800 flood victims involving 878 families were placed at 21 relief centres in the state yesterday.

Another resident, Jamilah Bibi Baberu, 52, said she was still traumatised by the 2010 floods and every time the rainy season came she recalled the grim situation faced.

“We were housed at the relief centre for a week…my car was badly damaged and my motorcycle was submerged in flood waters…I also had to repaint my house.”

She urged the state government to expedite the construction of the flood mitigation plan (RTB) project in the area to avoid the occurrence of severe flood situations following continuous heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, Kubang Pasu civil defence officer captain Kamalruzamal Kasa said some 100 Civil Defence members were placed under a 24-hour alert to execute ‘ops banjir kilat’ following the unpredictable weather.

“Civil defence members have also been assigned to each relief centre to monitor the situation, do rescue work and provide for other services needed.”

Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK)  Seri Indera in Kangar is closed for one day today (Sept 25) and will be given a holiday (which has to be replaced), following the floods in the state.

Perlis Education Depeartment director Izmi Ismail said the school will be closed as it had been flooded. “The safety of the students is a priority and we do not want anything untoward to happen.”

Teachers and parents were urged to go to the school today to help clean up the compounds and the classes which had been affected by the flood.

He also instructed school heads in Perlis to offer help to students who have been affected by the floods.

Izmi said clothing and stationery would be given to students who are affected by the floods.

In a statement issued yesterday, the State Education Department said students affected by the floods were allowed to attend school in their home clothes.

“Do not use lack of school uniform as an excuse not to attend school,” he added.

– Bernama

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