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More rain to hit M'sia's east coast

Publication Date : 09-12-2013


More than 65,000 Malaysians huddled in overcrowded relief centres in Peninsular Malaysia received more bad news from the weatherman - expect non-stop rain in three east coast states for the next six days.

The number of people moved to relief centres - mainly schools and public halls - in the three east coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang as well as Johor jumped to above 60,000 in the last two days from below 40,000 last week.

The rains, brought in by the northeast monsoon, have caused water levels to rise very fast in these states, especially in and around the Pahang state capital, Kuantan, stretching north to Kemaman in central Terengganu.

Pahang accounted for most of the evacuees at 40,920, according to the National Security Council that oversees security policies and national disasters.

The meteorological department on its website on Sunday on Sunday said the three east coast states - but not Johor - can expect incessant rain every day until Saturday.

A weather map on its website shows huge clouds hovering above the South China Sea just off these states.

Showing the extent of the problem, the authorities said that over the three days to Saturday last week, the amount of rain that fell in Pahang was three times that of the average monthly rainfall.

Utusan Malaysia newspaper reported a heart-warming story on Sunday of a nurse who continued to report for work at a Terengganu hospital although her own family has been evacuated to a relief centre which is now her home.

"I haven't seen my home since I left it on Tuesday, and my husband said he is right now trapped somewhere along a road," said nurse Wah Rohaidah Wan Hussin, 38.

Parts of the main road between the state capitals of Pahang and Terengganu were impassable on Saturday, with Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Said among hundreds of people trapped on high ground along the road. He was visiting flood victims.

Seeing six lorries carrying Gardenia bread similarly stranded, he bought all their contents for about 20,000 ringgit (US$6,208) and handed out the bread free to those stranded around him and without food, Berita Harian Malaysia reported on Sunday.

The lorries were to distribute the bread to retail shops in the area.

Two men have so far drowned and three are missing.

On Sunday, a bus from Kelantan heading to Johor Baru overturned near Kemaman after skidding off the slippery road and smashing into metal railings, injuring eight people. The bus driver was trying to avoid running into a wild pig.

The government on Sunday said a small unit of army engineers are building a temporary bridge in Kemaman after the regular bridge was washed away by fast-running waters.

"If there are no obstacles, construction of the bridge can proceed," said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, as quoted by Bernama.

"This bridge is important to provide a link to areas affected by floods there so that relief operations to bring food, medicine and other essentials can be carried out."

So far, about 2,000 military personnel have been mobilised since last Monday for relief work.

But there has not been a big-scale mobilisation of the army like that during the 2007 monsoon floods that saw more than 100,000 people evacuated.


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