Over 25,000 Malaysians forced to flee their homes as east coast battered by monsoon

Water levels from already swollen rivers are also expected to continue rising as the Meteorological Department has forecast continuous rain for Terengganu, Pahang and Johor.


Rantau Panjang and Pasir Mas in Kelantan badly hit by floods due to the overflowing Sungai Golok. PHOTO: BERNAMA/THE STAR

December 27, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR – More than 25,400 people have been forced to leave their homes due to floods in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor, as monsoon rains continue to batter the east coast of the peninsula.

Water levels from already swollen rivers are also expected to continue rising as the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has forecast continuous rain until today for Terengganu, Pahang and Johor.

Kelantan was the worst hit of the four states as the deluge from an overflowing Sungai Kelantan cut off bridges and roads such as the Pasir Mas-Rantau Panjang main artery and even submerged the Rantau Panjang Fire and Rescue Department, according to Sinar Harian.


No joyride: Residents going by boat to check on their homes after they were forced to flee following rising floodwaters at Kampung Bukit Tok Bat in Kuala Berang, Terengganu. — Bernama

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The northeastern state also recorded three deaths, all of whom were children, while 14,006 residents were evacuated to 94 flood relief centres as of press time yesterday.

They were part of the 25,438 people in the four states who are seeking shelter at 241 evacuation centres.

The second worst hit state was Terengganu, where floodwaters even inundated a relief centre in Hulu Terengganu forcing the 447 people who were already seeking shelter there to move again.

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The 447 were part of the 10,643 people in 134 centres all over Terengganu according to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

Pahang had 698 evacuees in 12 centres while Selangor’s four evacuees were placed in one centre.

Parts of Kelantan are also without electricity as Tenaga Nasional Bhd switched off the supply in 16 areas in Pasir Mas and Rantau Panjang as a precaution when floodwaters rose around its substations.

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Contacted by Bernama about the floods in Kelantan, state police chief Datuk Muhamad Zaki Harun urged parents to not allow their children to play in floodwaters.

This was after a boy drowned in Kubang Kerian, Kota Baru, while two girls perished in floodwaters in Pasir Mas.

“The public, especially youths on motorcycles, should not court danger by going to flooded places to have fun,” he said.

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According to the Kelantan state disaster management secretariat, Machang and Kota Baru were the latest districts to be hit by floods after Pasir Mas, Jeli, Tanah Merah, Gua Musang and Kuala Krai.

Pasir Mas continued to have the highest number of evacuees at 7,834, followed by Kuala Krai, 3,334 and Tanah Merah 1,765.

In Terengganu, a third wave of flooding has submerged villages in Hulu Terengganu and displaced 3,133 people, according to Nadma’s natural disaster portal.

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The other worst hit districts were Dungun with 2,357 evacuees, Setiu (2,280) and Besut (1,712).

In Pahang, the number of evacuees decreased slightly to 698 from 700 the previous day, all of whom were in Raub (463) and Lipis (235) districts.

The Irrigation and Drainage Department said Kelantan’s largest river, Sungai Kelantan, had reached the danger level at three points, Gua Musang, Kuala Krai and Machang. The Pasir Mas stretch of Sungai Golok also breached its danger level.

Other rivers that were reported to have exceeded their danger levels were Sungai Terengganu at three points – Hulu Terengganu, Setiu, Kuala Terengganu – Sungai Kemaman, Sungai Setiu and Sungai Dungun, all of which are in Terengganu.

Sungai Kuantan in Pahang also surpassed the danger level.

In Pahang, the water levels at five stations have exceeded the danger level, namely Sungai Tembiling, Jerantut, Sungai Pahang in Pekan, Sungai Luit in Maran, Sungai Keratong at Jalan Kota Bahagia and Sungai Pukin in Rompin.


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