Saturday, January 13, 2007

MORE PICS – JOHORE Flooded Again – 2nd TIME in Weeks; 1 Week Rain Fell Thurday; BATU PAHAT Dam 1 m above Danger Level; MORE Rain Expected till Monday

February 01, 2007 17:59 PM

DPM Was Very Clear About The Cause Of Floods - Syed Hamid
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made it very clear yesterday that the cause of floods in Johor will be determined through a technical study, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said today. The Deputy Prime Minister's statement was very clear on the issue, he told reporters. Syed Hamid was asked to comment on the statement issued by Singapore Foreign Ministry yesterday, denying the claim by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman that the floods in Johor was caused by reclamation works at Pulau Tekong by the Singapore Government. Today, the republic's Ministry of National Development said there was no scientific basis to allege that land reclamation at Pulau Tekong contributed to the recent massive floods in Johor.
"The comments are unfounded," it said. As Johor was worst-hit by the floods, he believed the technical committee would look at all possibilities to ascertain the real cause."...in the end, it will be guided by the technical study in terms of what we need to do and how we should address the issue," said Syed Hamid, who is also Member of Parliament for Kota Tinggi, one of the worst-hit districts in Johor. Elaborating on the soon-to-be conducted study, he said, the technical committee would determine whether the flooding would be an annual occurrence and remedial measures to be taken to address the problem. "I think this is important to us as we need to manage and plan for the future," he added

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No Scientific Basis To Say Reclamation Caused Johor Floods - Singapore
By Jackson Sawatan

SINGAPORE, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- Singapore has denied claims its land reclamation at Pulau Tekong contributed to the recent massive floods in Johor. The Ministry of National Development said there was no scientific basis to allege so. "The comments are unfounded," it said. It said: "This is confirmed by results from technical studies commissioned separately by both the Malaysian Government and the Singapore Government as part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea dispute settlement proceedings on Singapore's land reclamation works at Pulau Tekong and Tuas View Extension."

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said on Tuesday land reclamation by Singapore at Pulau Tekong contributed to the massive flooding in Johor. He said the reclamation had caused narrowing of the Johor River mouth and slowed discharge of excess rain water into the Johor Straits. The ministry said a coastal hydraulic study undertaken by Malaysia's Drainage and Irrigation Department in September 2002 on the impact of Singapore's reclamation works concluded that there were no appreciable changes to the water levels within the Straits of Johor.

"As such, the study concluded that there is no increased flooding due to Singapore's reclamation works," it said in a statement. It also cited a separate environmental impact assessment report prepared by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia commissioned by the Malaysian Government which reported similar findings. "Technical studies commissioned separately by the Singapore Government in 2003 also reached the same conclusions. "In fact, based on the results of these studies, the Group of Experts which both governments appointed to study the impact of the reclamation works had recommended that it would not be necessary for the flood impact to be further assessed by the technical consultant appointed for the Joint Study. This was accepted by both governments," it added

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Najib: No reason to blame Singapore for floods

01 Feb 2007; Adrian David; NST
KUALA LUMPUR: Assumptions cannot be made that massive land reclamation work by Singapore at Pulau Tekong contributed to the recent floods in Johor. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said without a proper and in-depth technical study, it would be preposterous to point fingers. "People are fond of making all kinds of accusations. This ought to be substantiated. "I learnt that excessive rain over a 24-hour period in some areas, which is unusual, may have contributed to the floods," he said in reference to remarks made by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

Ghani blamed the land reclamation for having narrowed the river mouth of Sungai Johor, causing massive flooding in Kota Tinggi. He said the narrowing of the delta had slowed the discharge of excess rain water into the Johor Straits. Najib said the government had appointed a technical committee to study the terms of reference under the bilateral agreement with Singapore. He had earlier launched a book, On Command and Leadership, authored by armed forces chief Laksamana Tan Sri Mohamad Anwar Mohamad Nor at Wisma Pertahanan yesterday. Kota Tinggi suffered from repeated flooding as it is a riverine locality. In addition, excess rain water from upstream and the surrounding catchment areas also flowed into the Sungai Johor, causing it to burst its banks and flood the town.

Singapore started land reclamation work in 2002 along the eastern and western parts of the Johor Straits near the Malaysian mainland. The work, involving 5,214ha of sea area, is expected to be completed in 2010. It will lengthen the headland in Tuas by 7km and double the size of Pulau Tekong, which is located across the river mouth of Sungai Johor. Malaysia launched international arbitration proceedings against Singapore in October 2003, saying the land reclamation had damaged its interests by, among other things, narrowing the shipping lanes around the Johor Straits. It also applied to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for an interim order to stop the reclamation work. The Hamburg-based tribunal heard the case in September 2003. It ruled that the reclamation could continue, but ordered both sides to set up an independent group of experts to study the impact. The parties agreed that the recommendations would be used as the basis of a "mutually acceptable and beneficial solution".

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Evacuees In Batu Pahat Dwindle To 9,500
JOHOR BAHARU, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- The number of flood victims in Batu Pahat dwindled to 9,501 Thursday morning compared to 18,528 yesterday. The evacuees are from 2,245 families, a spokesman of the Johor police contingent headquarters flood operations room said today. All roads in Batu Pahat, the only district in Johor still inundated by floodwaters, are now passable to traffic. Bright and sunny weather has been forecast in Johor today. = = = =

January 31, 2007 21:31 PM

Cause Of Johor Floods To Be Known After Technical Study, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Wednesday conclusions cannot be drawn on the cause of recent major floods in Johor without undertaking a technical study. The deputy prime minister said the government was in the process of setting up a technical committee and the cause of the floods would be determined by these experts.

"There have been all kinds of claims but we cannot draw conclusions without an in-depth technical study," he told reporters after launching a book entitled "On Command and Leadership" at the Defence Ministry here. The book was written by Chief of Defence Forces Admiral Tan Sri Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Nor who retired today, and it was launched after he had handed over duties to the incoming top military chief, Chief of Army Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal. Najib said that for the moment it can be said that the cause of the floods was the incessant heavy rain, adding that at some places rainfall for a whole month was experienced in just 24 hours.

Najib was asked to comment on a claim by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Tuesday that massive land reclamation work by Singapore at Pulau Tekong at the mouth of the Johor River had contributed to the floods. Abdul Ghani had said that land reclamation had narrowed the river mouth and slowed the discharge of excess rain water into the Johor Straits. The situation in Johor, hit by the recent floods for the first time last Dec 19 and for the second time on Jan 13, has returned to normal in most places but in a few areas, especially Batu Pahat, the floodwaters have been stagnant and more than 18,000 people are still at relief centres.

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January 24, 2007 12:25 PM

Flood Situation Improves, Only 95 Victims At Pahang Relief Centres

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- The flood situation in the affected states of Pahang, Johor and Sabah has generally improved this morning. All evacuees in Johor and Sabah have been allowed to return home, except in Pahang, with 95 people remaining at relief centres from 110 people last night.

In PAHANG, a spokesman at the Pahang police contingent flood operations room said 73 people who were evacuated in Raub until last night were still at relief centres while the other remaining evacuees were in Temerloh (eight), Rompin (eight) and Lipis (six). He said the relief centres which were still open were Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Kuala Lanar, Lipis, and the community halls at Kampung Bangkong, Rompin and at Taman Murni near Kampung Kuala Kaung, Lanchang, Temerloh. He said most of the evacuees were allowed to return home since the flood waters in their villages had subsided.

In KOTA TINGGI, the situation is back to normal with the remaining 26 evacuees at the Dewan Intan Jubli returning home this morning. A spokesman of the Johor police contingent flood operations room said only Batu Pahat remained flooded, with several more people evacuated last night. A total of 853 people were ordered to evacuate since last night and this brings the number of flood victims to 52,278 at 110 relief centres from 51,425 previously. Several roads in Johor remain closed to traffic, including Jalan Kampung Oren to Taman Melur in Ulu Tiram, Jalan Sungai Lomako in Mersing and Km56-57 Jalan Kluang-Kota Tinggi. In Batu Pahat, the affected roads are Jalan Sri Pasir-Sri Medan, Jalan Parit Raja Darat, Jalan Yong Peng-Parit Sulong, Jalan Parit Gemang-Senggarang and Jalan Sengkuang-Sri Bengkal.

Meanwhile in SANDAKAN, all the flood evacuees were allowed to return home today as the situation was back to normal. A spokesman of the Kinabatangan flood operations room said 15 victims from four families from Kampung Pangkalan, Bukit Garam were the last to leave for home. The water in Sungai Bukit Garam is back to its normal level at 8.36m at 8am today." However, the flood operations room would remain open to monitor the situation, he said. When the flood was at its height, 67 people from 13 families in Kinabatangan were forced to evacuate.

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January 23, 2007 11:28 AM

Floods In Johor Unchanged, Pahang, Sabah Improving

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 (Bernama) -- The flood situation in Batu Pahat, Johor has not changed much with 53,081 victims still at relief centres, but conditions in Pahang and Sabah are improving. In JOHOR, a spokesman of the Johor police flood operations room said most of the evacuees were from Batu Pahat with 53,061 from 12,578 families staying at 115 centres. The remaining 20 from one family are placed at a relief centre in Kota Tinggi. Several roads in the state are still closed to traffic especially Jalan Kampung Oren to Taman Melur, Km32 Bandar Tenggara to Kluang, Jalan Sungai Lomako, Mersing and Km56-57 Jalan Kluang-Kota Tinggi. Other roads closed are Jalan Sri Pasir-Sri Medan, Jalan Parit Raja Darat, Jalan Yong Peng-Parit Sulong, Jalan Parit Gemang-Senggang and Jalan Sengkuang-Sri Bengkal, all in Batu Pahat.

In PAHANG, the situation in several districts is improving except Temerloh which saw an increase in the number of evacuees from eight to 64 people this morning. A spokesman of the Pahang police contingent headquarters flood operations room said as at 8 am, 64 people were placed at two relief centres in Temerloh compared to only eight last night. He said 12 families were taking refuge at the Kampung Kenanga community hall in Lanchang while one family is being sheltered at the Taman Murni community hall, near Kampung Kuala Kaung, Lancang. "In Raub district, the number of victims is reduced to 188 from 481 when most evacuation centres were closed this morning," he added. Among the relief centres closed were the community halls in Sengkela, Kampung Ajai, Gali Hilir and Bukit Pampung, and two surau in Sungai Kerak and Panchor. In Rompin and Lipis districts, the numbers of victims are unchanged at 241 and 195 respectively from Monday night. The spokesman said the four districts had fine weather but were still flooded due to overflowing water from an upstream river. The number of victims throughout Pahang this morning declined to 688 from 925. He said no casualties were reported.

In SABAH, the situation in Kinabatangan improved after the Bukit Garam river water level dropped to the normal level of 8.55 metres at 8am today. However, the number of victims at relief centres stood at 67 from 13 families. A spokesman of the Kinabatangan flood operations room said the victims were still being sheltered at the Bukit Garam community hall while the rest had moved to their relatives' homes.He said as of this morning, police had not received any directive to allow residents of Kampung Pangkalan to return home.

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January 22, 2007 13:46 PM

Actual Losses In Floods Yet To Be Determined

PETALING JAYA, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- The actual economic losses resulting from the floods in the southern parts of the peninsula since last month have yet to be determined, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (above)said Monday. He said the total amount could only be confirmed after a federal meeting on the disaster. "Following a decision at the last Cabinet meeting, all ministries and agencies have been directed to assess their losses and the allocations they will need to repair and restore basic facilities and infrastructure damaged by the floods," he told reporters after sending off the Malaysia contingent for the United Nations Interim Force mission in Lebanon (Unifil) at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang.

Najib, who is also Defence Minister, said the government had formed a central committee to assess the damage caused by the floods and determine actions to be taken to restore the situation. He said studies were also carried out to find out why the flood waters rose so fast but were slow to recede, especially in Johor. "It has to do with the local conditions. Some are low-lying areas and (have) narrow channels which slow down the water flowing out. We also have to study what should be done. As a short-term measure, we can buy new high-powered pumps (to drain out the water) or we can deepen the drains and rivers to clear them of sediment and waste.

ABOVE: Flood victims wading across flood waters to receive"hands on" aid from NAJIB (BELOW). The government gets ALL the credit.

"As a medium- and long-term measure, we will have to invest in a flood mitigation scheme," he added. Najib said the government would also study the economic and social impact of climatic change on the country. He said several countries had carried out such a study and it was crucial for Malaysia to also do it so that appropriate action could be taken. "This is a reality which we should accept that there is climatic change, not only in our country, but also in other parts of the world due to global warming," he added.

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January 22, 2007 10:45 AM

Still 51,000 Flood Evacuees In Batu Pahat

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- There were still 51,450 flood victims at 115 relief centres in Batu Pahat as at 8am Monday, forming the bulk of the victims in Johor.
A Johor police flood operations room spokesman said Kota Tinggi had 180 evacuees and Muar, 57.

In KUANTAN, the number of flood victims in four districts in Pahang climbed to 1,183 this morning, from 672 last night. A state police flood operations room spokesman said Raub had 804 victims, Kuala Lipis 176, Rompin 195 and Temerloh 8.

The victims, from 18 villages, were now sheltered at 23 relief centres, he said. He said the Bentong-Kuala Lumpur road at Km10.5 and the road to Fraser's Hill at Km5 were closed to traffic.
In SANDAKAN, the number of evacuees remained at 67 from 13 families from Kampung Pangkalan in Kinabatangan.
A Kinabatangan district office flood operations room spokesman said the reading at Sungai Bukit Garam was at the normal level of 8.98m but the evacuees were afraid to return home for fear that the water level would rise again.

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January 22, 2007 00:13 AM

Floods In Pahang Turn For The Worse While Johor Recovers

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) -- Floods in Pahang worsened with the number of evacuees rising to 672 Sunday night against 357 earlier Sunday evening, while the situation in Johor is reported to be improving further. A Pahang Police Flood Operations Room spokesman said 516 flood victims had been evacuated from Raub, 92 from Lipis and 64 from Rompin to a total of 17 flood relief centres in the state. Three roads in Raub, namely Jalan Tersang, Jalan Kuala Dong and Jalan Chenua, had been closed, while in Rompin, the Kampung Aur-Bukit Imbam road, Jalan Kampung Jaban and Jalan Kampung Ganuh were impassable to traffic. "The old Karak Setia road is also closed to traffic due to a minor landslide incident," he told Bernama here today.

In JOHOR BAHARU, a Johor Police Flood Operations Room spokesman said that Batu Pahat had yet to be declared free from the disaster. As of 8.00pm, a total of 51,197 evacuees still remained at 115 relief centres in the state, with Batu Pahat registering the highest number at 50,960 victims followed by Kota Tinggi (180) and Muar (57). In SABAH, the situation in Kinabatangan was reported to be much better after the water level at Sungai Bukit Garam returned to normal at 9.14 metres as of 4.00pm this evening.

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January 21, 2007 12:49 PM

Not Much Change In Flood-hit Johor

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 21 (Bernama) -- There are not much changes in the flood situation in Johor with regard to evacuees in Batu Pahat, the district with the highest number of flood victims. As at 8am Sunday, there are still 50,907 evacuees at 122 evacuation centres in the state, with 49,496 of them at 112 relief centres in Batu Pahat. In KOTA TINGGI, 1,108 people are still at relief centres, Mersing (103), Muar (57), Segamat (63) and Johor Baharu South (80). In KLUANG, all flood victims have returned home, making it the third district after Pontian and Johor Baharu North, to close the relief centres. All trunk roads in Johor are passable to traffic since Thursday.

In SABAH, the floods in Kinabatangan is improving after Sungai Bukit Garam receded to its normal level of 9.24m this morning from 9.5m at 4pm Saturday. However, the number of evacuees remained at 67 from 13 families. Thirty-three of them from seven families are being sheltered at the Bukit Garam community hall while the rest are putting up with relatives.

The Kinabatangan district office flood operations room spokesman said the evacuees have yet to return home for fear the river water might rise again
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January 20, 2007 19:48 PM

Little Change In Flood Victims

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- There has been little change in Johor flood victims with 50,186 sheltered in 127 relief centres as at 2pm compared with 51,608 in 138 centres this morning. A spokesman for the Flood Operation Room at the Johor police contingent said Batu Pahat district still has the most evacuees with 47,852.
The other victims are in Kota Tinggi (1,859), Mersing (139), Segamat (129), Johor Baharu Selatan (80), Kluang (68) and Muar (57).
It is the same in Kinabatangan, Sabah where there were still 67 victims comprising 13 families.

A spokesman for the Kinabatangan Flood Operation Room said water level at Sungai Bukit Garam dropped slightly to 9.5 metres at 4pm compared with 9.6 metres at 8am. The Meteorological Department has forecasted intermittent to medium rainfall over several areas in Johor and eastern Pahang until Monday.

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January 20, 2007 18:43 PM

48,520 Workers Affected By Floods In Johor
KLUANG, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- A total of 48,520 workers and 2,565 employers in various sectors were affected by the floods in Johor, Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said. He said the highest figure was recorded in Batu Pahat district involving 15,100 workers and 685 employers, followed by Kota Tinggi (11,820 workers, 845 employers), Kluang/Mersing (13,554 workers, 720 employers), Johor Baharu (5,000 workers, 20 employers), Segamat (2,265 workers, 286 employers) and Muar (781 workers, nine employers). Those affected are from various sectors including manufacturing, services, retail, plantation, smallholding and livestock rearing, he told reporters after visiting flood victims at several oil palm plantations in Kahang, near here.

Fong said instructions had been issued to all employers to assist workers affected by the floods, including in terms of their welfare and rebuilding their houses. Although the flood situation had almost returned to normal, he said, more than 25 plantations were still cut off due to flooded roads. "The ministry has contacted the employers of all the plantations concerned asking them to look into the welfare of their workers. It is the responsibility of the employers," he added. He also said that efforts would be made by the ministry to ensure that necessary aid was sent to workers in plantations which were cut off by the floods. For operators of small and medium industries, Fong said they could apply for loans from financial institutions to revive their respective businesses.

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January 20, 2007 12:26 PM

No Change In Johor

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- There has been not much change in the number of flood victims in Johor where 51,608 evacuees are still at 138 relief centres as at 8am Saturday.A Johor police flood operations room spokesman said Batu Pahat had 48,034 victims, Kota Tinggi ( 2,671), Kluang (68), Mersing (139), Muar (399), Segamat (252) and Johor Baharu Selatan (45).
All major roads in the state have been passable to traffic since Thursday.

In SABAH, a Kinabatangan district office flood operations room spokesman said 33 victims from seven families were still at the relief centres while 34 from six families had moved in with their relatives.
All the victims were from Kampung Pangkalan Bukit Garam and were evacuated on Thursday.

As at 8am, the Bukit Garam river level had dropped to 9.60m from 9.79m yesterday but was still at the warning stage, he said.
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January 19, 2007 00:29 AM

Life Returning To Normal In Flood Stricken Johor, Pahang

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 (Bernama) -- The situation in the flood-affected areas in Johor and Pahang is returning to normal with more victims going home as floodwaters receded and aid pouring in from caring Malaysians. Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah visited flood victims sheltered at Batu Pahat and Yong Peng in Johor Thursday afternoon. The Raja Perempuan Kelantan Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid had also handed her donation of clothes, food and basic essentials worth about RM150,000 to flood victims in Johor. The private sector too chipped in with YTL Corporation Bhd donating RM3 million to a flood relief fund set up by the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, the biggest donor so far to the fund. Bernama Systems & Solution Advisor Sdn Bhd (BESSAR), a subsidiary of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) donated essential goods worth about RM50,000 to flood victims in Kahang, Kluang, Johor. CNI Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd also contributed food and essential items worth about RM50,000 in Johor. The Meteorological Department Thursday raised a orange-level alert on the possibility of stormy weather and heavy rain in Johor, Pahang and Terengganu. In JOHOR, the number of flood victims declined to 61,819 at 158 relief centres Thursday night compared with 66,544 Thursday afternoon. A spokesman at the Johor Police Headquarters Flood Operations Room said relief centres at Batu Pahat housed 47,007 people, Kota Tinggi (10,464), Kluang (1,788), Mersing (1,779), Muar (439), Johor Baharu Selatan (90) and Segamat (252). Flood relief centres in Johor Baharu Utara and Pontian have been closed. Kota Tinggi town is returning to normal and all roads leading to the town are now open to traffic.

However in Kluang district, some roads are still closed namely Jalan Kluang-Yong Peng, Jalan Ladang Sungai Tawing-Paloh, Jalan Ladang Selai and Jalan Kahang-Taman Negara. In Batu Pahat district, Jalan Parit Raja, Jalan Yong Peng-Parit Sulong, Jalan Kangkar Baru-Paloh, Jalan Sengkuang-Seri Bengkal, Jalan Yong Peng-Labis and Jalan Batu Pahat-Kluang are still inaccessible. Jalan Mersing-Felda Nitar and Km23 Jalan Felda Nitar-Kluang in Mersing district and Jalan Chaah-Yong Peng in Segamat district are closed. In the Rompin district, Pahang, life is returning to normal as only 577 people from Kampung Kurnia, Ladang Yayasan and Kampung Denai remained at relief centres, said Pahang Police Contingent Flood Operations Room spokesman.

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January 18, 2007 21:01 PM

Floods Continue To Improve In Johor And Pahang

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- The flood situation in Johor and Pahang continues to improve, with drizzles expected in several areas, allowing more evacuees to return home. Efforts to disburse humanitarian aid were intensified in all affected areas with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong going to the ground to visit flood hit victims in Batu Pahat and Yong Peng Thursday afternoon. At the same time, aid kept flowing in from various parties nationwide,

with YTL Corporation Bhd contributing RM3 million to the New Straits Times flood relief fund, making YTL the largest corporate donor todate. Others included CNI Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd which despatched food items and basic necessities worth RM50,000 to Johor. On the flood situation, the waters had receded in most areas. The Meteorological Department has lowered its warning of thunderstorm and heavy rain in Johor, Pahang and Terengganu to orange, that is second out of the three-stage warning levels in its weather forecast. The highest warning is red alert while the lowest is yellow.

In JOHOR, a spokesman of the Johor Police Contingent Headquarters flood operations room said the number of victims was reduced to 66,544 people at 178 centres Thursday afternoon. Up till Thursday morning, 47,205 victims were still at 111 relief centres, in Batu Pahat, Kota Tinggi (12,791), Kluang (2,563), Mersing (1,803), Pontian (704), Muar (585), South Johor Baharu (376) and Segamat (517), he said.

He said the floods in Kota Tinggi were easing up with more roads leading to the town passable to traffic. Communication in the district had earlier been disrupted following an overflow of water from Sungai Johor. In Kluang, roads which are still closed to traffic are Jalan Kluang-Yong Peng, Jalan Ladang Sungai Tawing-Paloh, Jalan Ladang Selai and Jalan Kahang-Taman Negara while in Batu Pahat, affected roads are Jalan Parit Raja, Jalan Yong Peng-Parit Sulong, Jalan Kangkar Baru-Paloh, Jalan Sengkuang-Seri Bengkal, Jalan Yong Peng-Labis and Jalan Batu Pahat-Kluang. In Mersing, roads which are still not passable are Jalan Mersing-Felda Nitar and KM 23 Jalan Felda Nitar-Kluang and Jalan Chaah-Yong Peng in Segamat.

The flood in Rompin, Pahang is improving with the number of victims at relief centres reduced to 669 people from 1,003 this morning. A spokesman of the Pahang Police Contingent Headquarters flood operations room said, most victims who are at relief centres are Kampung Kurnia, Ladang Yayasan and Kampung Denai.
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January 18, 2007 22:11 PM

Damaged Bridges Will Be Repaired Promptly - Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- Bridges damaged in the second wave of floods, particularly in Johor, will be repaired promptly, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said Thursday. He said the repair work would be carried out in collaboration with the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID). "Some bridges collapsed because their structures were lashed by swift river water current and timber logs carried by floodwaters," he told reporters. Azmi said the DID would replace collapsed bridges with new ones and with safer and stronger structures. "The new bridges will be built higher than the river water level to enable big timber logs carried by the swift river water current to pass through without damaging the structures," he said. He said checks would be made at badly-affected areas to take immediate measures to repair damaged bridges and roads.

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January 18, 2007 21:20 PM

47 Road Locations In Johor Still Impassable To Traffic

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- A total of 47 road locations in Johor are still impassable to traffic as of this evening due to the flood in the state, says Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. He said 15 other locations of the affected roads however were opened to heavy vehicles, while 87 locations of other roads in the state had been opened to all traffic. "The flood this time has cut off the networks of federal and state roads in Johor. They are badly affected with damages to the pavements, bridge structure and slopes," he told reporters after visiting the Integrated Southern Gateway project here Thursday. He said that during the flood, 86 locations of the federal roads and 63 locations of the state roads were covered with water. Among them were Jalan Johor Baharu-Batu Pahat, Jalan Johor Baharu-Mersing, Jalan Johor Baharu-Pontian, Jalan Batu Pahat Air Hitam and Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai.

Samy Vellu said in addition, six roads or bridges suffered erosion and were cut off from the main network by water. They included KM57, Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kluang, Sungai Semberong Bridge, Sungai Redong Bridge, Jalan Tenggaroh, Kampung Kudung Bridge and KM84-85 of Jalan Kluang-Mersing. He also said there were six locations of slopes and banks that were damaged and suffered structural failure.

These are KM121 of Jalan Jemaluang-Kahang, KM106 of Jalan Jemaluang-Kahang, KM162 of Jalan Endau-Mersing, KM26 of Jalan Johor Baharu-Kota Tinggi, Jalan Sri Perani-Sungai Aping and Jalan Masuk Felda Kahang Barat. He said the Public Works Department (PWD), with the support of road management concessionaires, had carried out cleaning works to ensure these roads could be used by traffic. The long term repair works via slope stabilisation will be implemented after assessments and studies on the damages are completed, he said. Samy Vellu said the PWD had done the emergency works at several critical locations due to factors including collapse of pavements, slopes, banks and culverts. "Repair works to a total of 10 locations that involved damages to the connecting roads, culverts, road shoulders and banks erosion have finished," he said.

The minister has also directed the Kota Tinggi PWD to enlarge the size of the district's drains, which were damaged by the flood, from 15 inches to 24 inches in diameters. Speaking to reporters after attending a flood situation briefing at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Kota Tinggi, Samy Vellu said he had directed the department to submit an estimated cost for the works so that allocations can be disbursed immediately. The district PWD was also told to inspect the roads and bridges that were flooded, particularly those in the villages to determine whether their structural soundness had been compromised. A report on the inspection would be submitted in two days so that it can be presented to the Rural Development Ministry, he said. The minister also presented aid worth RM100,000 contributed by Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, to victims at relief centres in Sekolah Menengah Kota Jaya and Sekolah Menengah New Kota in Kota Tinggi.
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UPDATE: Wed, Jan 17 2007; 6.20am

January 16, 2007 23:02 PM

Fine Weather Helps Improve Flood Situation In Johor, Pahang

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The good weather throughout the day Tuesday helped improve the flood situation in several places in Johor and Pahang, allowing more evacuees to return home. As the fine weather was forecast to continue, thousands of people who were still taking shelter at the many relief centres, were expected to be able to go home by the weekend at the latest. Civil Defence Department disaster management head Che Moin Umar said the strong south-east Monsoon from the South China Sea over the past several days that brought heavy rain and caused rough seas and was blamed for the second wave of floods in Johor, had been reported to be weakening. However, Batu Pahat residents would probably have to wait a little longer between two and three weeks before the floodwater receded completely due to drainage problems and the fact that the area was located on low-lying terrain. The authorities planned to suck out the floodwater using pumps.

The number of flood evacuees in Johor dropped to 80,755 tonight with 241 relief centres still open compared to 97,073 people taking shelter at 278 centres Tuesday morning.

A spokesman of Johor police's flood operations room said Batu Pahat still had 42,957 evacuees, Kota Tinggi 14,121, Kluang 6,642, Mersing 4,563, Johor Baharu Selatan 2,943, Segamat 4,593, Muar 2,299, Pontian 2,438, Johor Baharu Utara 199.

Kota Tinggi town was still under water.
In PAHANG
, two evacuation centres in Rompin -- at Sekolah Kebangsaan Janglau and the Tun Razak community hall which previously housed 305 and 87 people respectively -- were closed tonight. A Pahang police spokesman said 1,836 people from 339 families were still taking shelter at nine evacuation centres compared to 2,696 people Tuesday evening. Tuesday afternoon, relief centres at the Rompin Weightlifting Hall, Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Putri and Batu Lapan kindergarten -- all in Rompin -- were closed.

The Meteorology Department had forecast the weather in Johor and south-eastern Pahang to improve further though intermittent drizzle, occasionally moderate, would occur in several places until Saturday.
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January 16, 2007 19:26 PM

Flood Situation In Johor, Pahang Improving
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The second wave of floods in Johor and Pahang has shown signs of improvement as the number of evacuees continues to drop, thanks to the good weather. The Meteorology Department has forecast that the weather in Johor and south-eastern Pahang will get better though intermittent drizzle, occasionally moderate, will occur in several areas until Saturday. Southern Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Negri Sembilan and western Johor were expected to experience thunderstorms and rain in the late afternoon and dusk, it said in a statement Tuesday.
In JOHOR, 93,965 evacuees were still taking shelter at 261 relief centres this evening compared to 97,073 at 278 centres this morning. A spokesman of the Johor police flood operations room said the fine weather today enabled flood victims in several districts to return home except in Batu Pahat which saw the number of evacuees rising to 43,118 this evening from 42,691, Tuesday morning. More people in Batu Pahat were evacuated because the rivers there overflowed after the authorities released water from a dam.


The police spokesman said the number of flood evacuees in Kota Tinggi (ABOVE)was 14,282, Kluang 9,831, Mersing 8,771, Johor Baharu South 4,994, Segamat 4,593, Muar 4,005, Pontian 2,438 and Johor Baharu North 1,933.

Kota Tinggi town (Above) was still under water and several main roads were still closed at certain places. Among them were Jalan Mawai-Sedili at Km24, Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Km40, Jalan Ulu Tiram-Kota Tinggi at Km23, Bandar Tenggara-Kulai at Km32, Jalan Sungai Rengit-Kota Tinggi at Km33 and Km56. Meanwhile, in Johor Baharu, among the affected roads were Jalan Kulai-Kota Tinggi and Jalan Ulu Tiram-Kota Tinggi at Km22 near the Army Basic Training Camp due to a landslide. In PAHANG, three relief centres in Rompin were closed this evening, while the number of people at other centres dropped to 2,696 from 3,933 this morning.

A spokesman of the Pahang police flood operations room said the evacuation centres at the Rompin Weightlifting Hall, Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Putri and Batu Lapan kindergarten were closed at noon. He said all victims from Kampung Leban Chondong and Kampung Sungai Putri who took shelter there had been allowed to return home.
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January 16, 2007 16:28 PM

PM Calls For Fed-State Cooperation To Rebuild Evacuees' Lives


VISIT by Prime Minister
ABOVE: Arriving by Helicopter and BELOW: Toured the flooded areas by boat in Kota Tinggi with MB Datuk Abdul Ghani with the life savers and bodyguards on board
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ABOVE: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi taking a closer look at a drawing of children during his visit at a relief centre in Johor.

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today called on the federal and state governments to work hand-in-hand to rebuild the lives of thousands of flood evacuees. The prime minister said it would be an arduous task to bring back the normal life of the flood victims who were uprooted from their dwellings, compared to the rescue work, evacuation operations and aid distribution to the victims. "I've told Ghani (Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman) that the state government must cooperate with the federal government in restoring the living conditions of the evacuees. "It's going to be a monumental task," he told reporters after visiting flood evacuees sheltered at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Mutiara in Kangkar Tebrau, here today. Abdullah also visited Kota Tinggi, the worst-hit district. Abdullah, accompanied by Ghani, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz toured the affected areas in Kota Tinggi which are under one to two metres of water. Abdullah said: "What I saw during my tour of Kota Tinggi is the urgent need for efforts to restore the evacuees' living conditions like ensuring the shops are open and are back in business and flood victims returning to their homes to resume their normal life." He also called for aid and other contributions for the victims be channelled without delay and be distributed fairly regardless of the victims' race and status. Abdullah praised the armed forces personnel, police, and members of Rela, Civil Defence Department and non-governmental organisations for their tireless work during the calamity.

"I'm satisfied with the operations to help the evacuees. They are proceeding well," he said. The prime minister hoped the flood situation in Johor would improve following fine weather since yesterday. "This will enable evacuees to return home to clean up the mess," he said. Abdullah also reminded flood victims to be vaccinated against communicable diseases like typhoid. The local authorities are providing free vaccination. To a question, Abdullah reiterated that an Emergency would not be declared in Johor."There is no need, why should there be? There is no reason at all," he said. He also said that the more serious second wave of floods in Johor did not affect implementation of the multi-billion ringgit Iskandar Development Region. Some 97,000 evacuees are still housed at relief centres in Johor.

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January 16, 2007 13:56 PM

Flood Evacuees Continue To Dwindle In Worst-hit Johor

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Flood evacuees in Johor continued to dwindle this morning with the easing up of rain which had triggered the second wave of floods. As of 8am, 97,073 flood victims from 22,513 families were being sheltered at 278 relief centres. However, the situation in Batu Pahat district was still bad, with 42,691 victims housed at 121 centres, a spokesman of the Johor police contingent flood operations room said.

In KLUANG, there are 12,543 evacuees, Johor Baharu South (4,993), Johor Baharu North (2,494), Kota Tinggi (14,281), Segamat (4,813), Mersing (8,730), Muar (4,080) and Pontian (2,448). Kota Tinggi town is still submerged due to overflowing of Sungai Johor. Road links between the town and Johor Baharu as well as with Mersing have been cut off since Friday. Roads impassable to traffic are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km3 Jalan Ulu Choh- Gelang Patah, Km32 Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai and Km26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai, near Sungai Telor.
Other roads are Km40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Mawai-Jalan Tun Habab and Km68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

In PAHANG, flood evacuees increased by 384 to 3,933 this morning from 3,559 last night. They are from 874 families from 12 villages in Rompin district.

Other districts in the state were not affected, said a spokesman of the Pahang police contingent headquarters flood operations room.

In SABAH, the situation in the flood-hit districts of Beaufort, Kota Marudu and Pitas improved as the water levels of the major rivers continued to drop.

A Beaufort district flood operations room spokesman said the level of Sungai Padas had dropped to 7.72m as at 11am today, which was below the alert level.

All the 334 evacuees at the Dewan Pak Musa-turned relief centre had returned home as at 10am but road access to six villages -- Kampung Lago, Kampung Suasa, Kampung Indumadi, Kampung Lawa, Kampung Bangkalalak and Kampung Kangsi -- was still cut off. In Kota Marudu, Sungai Bongon and Sungai Bandau were at 2.20m and 1m respectively, also below the alert level, but there were still 1,609 evacuees in Kampung Goruntong, Kampung Popok Laut, Kampung Popok Darat, Kampung Kuranji, Kampung Parong and Kampung Kampar.

In Pitas, its district officer Saplin Ibrahim said the number of evacuees remained at 1,398 and the reading at Sungai Bengkoka was 1m, which was close to the normal level.

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January 15, 2007 23:58 PM

Less Rainfall Forecasted For Johor
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- Johor which has seen heavy rainfall over the past few days is expected to receive less rain although medium rainfall will continue until Wednesday. The Meteorological Department said in a statement the here today the North-east Monsoon in the South China Sea is still active but Johor and South-east Pahang is expected to receive less rainfall. In JOHOR, a spokesman for the flood operation room at Johor police contingent said until 8pm, some 101,716 victims from 23,178 families were putting up at 291 relief centres in the state. A total of 41,950 victims were in 124 centres in Batu Pahat followed by Kluang (13,345), Johor Baharu Selatan (8,298), Johor Baharu Utara (2,494), Kota Tinggi (14,307), Segamat (5,020), Mersing (8,662), Muar (4,773) and Pontian (2,867).

Kota Tinggi town was still in one metre of water due to overflowing of Sungai Johor severing links with the districts of Johor Baharu and Mersing. Roads that remained closed were Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, Km32 Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, Km26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai at Sungai Telor, Km40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Mawai, Jalan Tun Habab and KM 68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

Batu Pahat town may be spared from flooding but its surroundings areas like Parit Sulong, Sri Medan, Parit Raja, Sri Gading, Yong Peng, Senggarang, Tongkang Pecah and Air Hitam were still flooded.
In PAHANG, there was an increase in victims to 3,559 from the 3,409 earlier in the day.

A spokesman for the flood operation room at Pahang police contingent said until 9pm, all the victims from 765 families in 12 kampungs in Rompin district had been evacuated to 14 relief centres.
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January 15, 2007 15:34 PM

PWD Builds Bailey Bridges At Flooded Roads

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) - The Public Works Department is building a Bailey bridge across a 40metre-stretch of flooded road at Km 57 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kluang near Felda Ulu Pengeli, Johor, as a temporary measure for motorists, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu (BELOW, back after his sojurn in INDIA)said Monday.

He said work on the bridge started on Sunday and would take two days to complete. He said a Bailey bridge was also built at 5th Mile Jalan Kluang-Mersing near Kampung Sri Cahaya which was cut off due to a landslide at the bridge across Sungai Sembrong.

"The bridge was built by the army yesterday and the road is now open to light vehicles of below 10 tonnes," he told Bernama. Samy Vellu said nearly 50 roads in several districts in Johor were still closed due to the floods and several others were only open to heavy vehicles. The floods had caused several roads and bridges to collapse and seriously damaged the surface of most roads. He said PWD workers were resurfacing the damaged roads to make them save for motorists. He added that PWD had also installed signboards on detours at locations affected by landslides and advised motorists to adhere to the instructions given. "Actual work to stabilise the slopes can only be done after the floods have subsided," he said

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January 15, 2007 17:57 PM
More Doctors And Nurses Needed As Volunteers

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- More volunteers, especially doctors and nurses, are required to help victims affected by the second wave of floods in Johor. Medic Asia head Datuk Ahmad A. Talib said there was urgent need for medical personnel in view of the deteriorating flood situation in the southern parts of the peninsula and the increasing number of evacuees. "There are about 80 volunteers from Medic Asia and the Salam Foundation now in Johor. More volunteers are needed because this group will be replaced by a new group," he said when contacted by Bernama, here Monday. Johor was hit by a second wave of floods, after the first on Dec 19, causing 109,831 people from 24,765 families to be evacuated to 344 relief centres until this morning. Ahmad said besides trained doctors and nurses, Medic Asia would also welcome individuals with medical background. Ahmad, who is also a member of the Salam Foundation board of directors also urged members of the public, including students on vacation, to become volunteers.

"Those with skills in cooking, carpentry and in other fields are needed, especially in rescue mission to help victims trapped in the floods," he added. He thanked the corporate sector for their contributions in cash and kind including the use of their boats for the flood victims. Those interested should contact the Salam Foundation office at 03-7958 4021 or e-mail to ahmad@aatsb.net or ahmadatalib.blogspot.com.
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January 15, 2007 10:59 AM

Number Of Flood Evacuees Increases Slightly

In JOHOR, a state police flood operations room spokesman said there were 109,831 victims from 24,765 families at 344 relief centres as of this morning. Batu Pahat had the biggest number of 39,091 victims at 126 centres, followed by Kluang (16,024), Johor Baharu south (10,664), Johor Baharu north (5,753), Kota Tinggi (13,189), Segamat (6,593), Mersing (8,239), Muar (5,611) and Pontian (4,669).

ABOVE: The army personnel were called in to help in rescue operation

Kota Tinggi town is still under 1m of water in several areas after the Sungai Johor burst its banks, cutting off access between the district and Johor Baharu and Mersing.

The roads that are still closed are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, KM3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, KM32 Bandar Tenggara, KM24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, KM26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai near Sungai Telor, KM40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, KM24 Jalan Mawai at Jalan Tun Habab and KM68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

In Segamat, several schools in the district remained closed. The student affairs officer at the Segamat Education Office, Jais Saadon, when contacted, said four schools in the district had informed the office that they would be closed for one to two days due to the severe damage wreaked by the floods. The classes would be replaced on other days.
They are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Chaah (on Jan 15 and 16), Sekolah Kebangsaan Segamat (Jan 15), Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Tengah (Jan 15) and Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Jawa (Jan 15 and 16).

In PAHANG, the number of flood evacuees increased to 2,638 this morning, from 2,447 last night. A spokesman at the Pahang police flood operations room said those evacuated were from 570 families in 12 villages in Rompin district. They are being sheltered at 14 relief centres.

In SABAH, a total of 1,398 people from 43 flood-stricken villages in Pitas, about 181km from Kota Kinabalu, were still at four relief centres in the district as at 10am today.

Pitas district officer told Bernama that the number of evacuees was expected to increase further with more people in the process of evacuation. He said a helicopter was being used to send aid, including food and clothing, to about 60 families in four villages -- Kampung Pinapak, Kampung Nibang, Kampung Mandamai and Kampung Mangkabusu -- where road links had been cut off due to the floods. The trunk road connecting Pitas and Kinabatangan is still closed although the water level at Sungai Bengkoka receded to 4.5m, which is below the danger mark, as at 10am.
In Kota Marudu, the relief centres in Pekan Lama Tandek, Kampung Marudu Laut, Kampung Marudu Darat, St Theresa hall, Kampung Asin-Asin, Kampung Baliajung and Kampung Tandek Laut had been closed as all the 919 evacuees had returned home. A district flood operations room spokesman said 1,596 people from 311 families were still being sheltered at other relief centres in the district.

Beaufort still had 334 evacuees from Kampung Jimpanga, Kampung Bakalau, Kampung Melati, Kampung Melalugus, Kampung Bingkul, Kampung Betandok Lubak, Kampung Beringin Gadong and Kampung Bangkalalak. Sixty-eight villages in the district are still under between 0.5m and 2m of water despite the level in Sungai Padas having receded to 8.99m, but is still at the danger level, as at 9am. Twelve villages are still cut off due to flooded roads. They included Kampung Bingkul, Kampung Bakalau, Kampung Melalugus, Kampung Limbawang and Kampung Betandok Lubak.
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January 15, 2007 04:32 AM

PM Orders Police To Augment Personnel In Johor

CEBU CITY (Philippines), Jan 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday ordered the police to increase their personnel in Johor to prevent looting in badly-flooded areas of the state. He said many complaints of house-breaking had been received, even in places where the floodwaters had risen very high. "This is something despicable. There is a need to step up surveillance," he told reporters after attending the 12th Asean Summit, here. Abdullah said the people should also play a role in taking measures to prevent looting.

"The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, has informed me that he will increase the number of policemen during floods and send aid and ensure safety of the people," he said. Abdullah also called for constant coordination among the police and other government departments to help out at flood relief centres and provide assistance for evacuation and other necessities. He said the country had experienced floods many times and the government was prepared to face the disaster. "Generally, efforts to help flood victims follow a procedure. This is important, especially when the disaster strikes without warning," he said. Despite communication difficulties, relief assistance ran smoothly with the availability of boats and helicopters to get to areas inaccessible to ordinary transportation, he added.= = = = = = =
January 14, 2007 20:39 PM

PM Following Johor Flood Situation Closely, Says Syed Hamid

KOTA TINGGI, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, attending the Asean summit in the Philippines, is following closely the flood situation in Johor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (ABOVE) said Sunday. He said he had given a report to the prime minister on the situation in the state, especially Kota Tinggi, after the second wave of floods hit the state in less than a month.

Syed Hamid spoke to reporters during a visit today to the flood relief centre at the Kota Kecil Multipurpose Hall. He had returned to Malaysia last night from Cebu City in the Philippines where he attended the 12th Asean Summit. "The prime minister has pledged to return quickly from the Asean summit in Cebu City to visit the affected areas," he said.

Syed Hamid, who is the Member of Parliament for Kota Tinggi, said the federal government would continue to provide the necessary aid to the flood victims."The Johor government and the federal government will work together closely to ensure that food and other essential items are constantly supplied to the flood victims," he said.

Syed Hamid praised the flood victims for their patience in facing the second wave of floods, saying that they were better prepared and understood what had to be done when the floodwaters started rising. "The pooling of resources to manage the flood victims also went on smoothly, similar to the aid and rescue efforts," he said. The second wave of floods is worse than the first, with 101,136 people having been evacuated in Johor up to this evening. In the Kota Tinggi district alone, 13,329 people have moved out of their homes to relief centres.
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January 14, 2007 22:20 PM

MRCS Wants More Volunteers To Assist Johor Flood Victims
FLOODS AID… Volunteers from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris distribute foods and drinks to flood victims. MRCS needs some 300 volunteers to assist the association in helping flood victims in Johor. Pix: Hamzah Md Som. KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) wants more volunteers to assist the association in helping flood victims in Johor.

National Natural Disaster Management chairman Dr Selva Jothi (ABOVE)said the society needs some 300 volunteers who are willing to be stationed at least one week in flood-hit areas in the state. "Currently, it has stationed 120 volunteers in Batu Pahat, 280 in Johor Baharu, 20 in Kota Tinggi and 15 in Kluang. We have also sent volunteers from other states like Penang and Perlis there, while those from Kedah are still waiting for their assignments," he told Bernama at MRCS headquarters here today. The flood in Johor is not showing signs of improving with the number of evacuees at 338 relief centres reaching 101,136 victims as of this evening. Dr Jothi said the MRCS had sent almost 300 tonnes of food supplies to Johor via train in its mission to help the victims.

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January 16, 2007 13:56 PM
Flood Evacuees Continue To Dwindle In Worst-hit Johor

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- Flood evacuees in Johor continued to dwindle this morning with the easing up of rain which had triggered the second wave of floods. As of 8am, 97,073 flood victims from 22,513 families were being sheltered at 278 relief centres. However, the situation in Batu Pahat district was still bad, with 42,691 victims housed at 121 centres, a spokesman of the Johor police contingent flood operations room said. In KLUANG, there are 12,543 evacuees, Johor Baharu South (4,993), Johor Baharu North (2,494), Kota Tinggi (14,281), Segamat (4,813), Mersing (8,730), Muar (4,080) and Pontian (2,448). Kota Tinggi town is still submerged due to overflowing of Sungai Johor. Road links between the town and Johor Baharu as well as with Mersing have been cut off since Friday. Roads impassable to traffic are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km3 Jalan Ulu Choh- Gelang Patah, Km32 Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai and Km26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai, near Sungai Telor.

Other roads are Km40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Mawai-Jalan Tun Habab and Km68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

In PAHANG, flood evacuees increased by 384 to 3,933 this morning from 3,559 last night. They are from 874 families from 12 villages in Rompin district.
Other districts in the state were not affected, said a spokesman of the Pahang police contingent headquarters flood operations room.

In SABAH, the situation in the flood-hit districts of Beaufort, Kota Marudu and Pitas improved as the water levels of the major rivers continued to drop.

A Beaufort district flood operations room spokesman said the level of Sungai Padas had dropped to 7.72m as at 11am today, which was below the alert level.

All the 334 evacuees at the Dewan Pak Musa-turned relief centre had returned home as at 10am but road access to six villages -- Kampung Lago, Kampung Suasa, Kampung Indumadi, Kampung Lawa, Kampung Bangkalalak and Kampung Kangsi -- was still cut off. In Kota Marudu, Sungai Bongon and Sungai Bandau were at 2.20m and 1m respectively, also below the alert level, but there were still 1,609 evacuees in Kampung Goruntong, Kampung Popok Laut, Kampung Popok Darat, Kampung Kuranji, Kampung Parong and Kampung Kampar.

In Pitas, its district officer Saplin Ibrahim said the number of evacuees remained at 1,398 and the reading at Sungai Bengkoka was 1m, which was close to the normal level.

= = = = == = == = ==January 15, 2007 23:58 PM

Less Rainfall Forecasted For Johor

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- Johor which has seen heavy rainfall over the past few days is expected to receive less rain although medium rainfall will continue until Wednesday. The Meteorological Department said in a statement the here today the North-east Monsoon in the South China Sea is still active but Johor and South-east Pahang is expected to receive less rainfall.

In JOHOR, a spokesman for the flood operation room at Johor police contingent said until 8pm, some 101,716 victims from 23,178 families were putting up at 291 relief centres in the state. A total of 41,950 victims were in 124 centres in Batu Pahat followed by Kluang (13,345), Johor Baharu Selatan (8,298), Johor Baharu Utara (2,494), Kota Tinggi (14,307), Segamat (5,020), Mersing (8,662), Muar (4,773) and Pontian (2,867). Kota Tinggi town was still in one metre of water due to overflowing of Sungai Johor severing links with the districts of Johor Baharu and Mersing. Roads that remained closed were Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, Km32 Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, Km26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai at Sungai Telor, Km40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Mawai, Jalan Tun Habab and KM 68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

Batu Pahat town may be spared from flooding but its surroundings areas like Parit Sulong, Sri Medan, Parit Raja, Sri Gading, Yong Peng, Senggarang, Tongkang Pecah and Air Hitam were still flooded.
In PAHANG, there was an increase in victims to 3,559 from the 3,409 earlier in the day.

A spokesman for the flood operation room at Pahang police contingent said until 9pm, all the victims from 765 families in 12 kampungs in Rompin district had been evacuated to 14 relief centres.
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January 15, 2007 15:34 PM

PWD Builds Bailey Bridges At Flooded Roads

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) - The Public Works Department is building a Bailey bridge across a 40metre-stretch of flooded road at Km 57 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kluang near Felda Ulu Pengeli, Johor, as a temporary measure for motorists, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Monday.
He said work on the bridge started on Sunday and would take two days to complete. He said a Bailey bridge was also built at 5th Mile Jalan Kluang-Mersing near Kampung Sri Cahaya which was cut off due to a landslide at the bridge across Sungai Sembrong.

"The bridge was built by the army yesterday and the road is now open to light vehicles of below 10 tonnes," he told Bernama. Samy Vellu said nearly 50 roads in several districts in Johor were still closed due to the floods and several others were only open to heavy vehicles. The floods had caused several roads and bridges to collapse and seriously damaged the surface of most roads. He said PWD workers were resurfacing the damaged roads to make them save for motorists. He added that PWD had also installed signboards on detours at locations affected by landslides and advised motorists to adhere to the instructions given. "Actual work to stabilise the slopes can only be done after the floods have subsided," he said
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January 15, 2007 17:57 PM

More Doctors And Nurses Needed As Volunteers

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- More volunteers, especially doctors and nurses, are required to help victims affected by the second wave of floods in Johor. Medic Asia head Datuk Ahmad A. Talib said there was urgent need for medical personnel in view of the deteriorating flood situation in the southern parts of the peninsula and the increasing number of evacuees. "There are about 80 volunteers from Medic Asia and the Salam Foundation now in Johor.

More volunteers are needed because this group will be replaced by a new group," he said when contacted by Bernama, here Monday. Johor was hit by a second wave of floods, after the first on Dec 19, causing 109,831 people from 24,765 families to be evacuated to 344 relief centres until this morning. Ahmad said besides trained doctors and nurses, Medic Asia would also welcome individuals with medical background. Ahmad, who is also a member of the Salam Foundation board of directors also urged members of the public, including students on vacation, to become volunteers.
"Those with skills in cooking, carpentry and in other fields are needed, especially in rescue mission to help victims trapped in the floods," he added. He thanked the corporate sector for their contributions in cash and kind including the use of their boats for the flood victims. Those interested should contact the Salam Foundation office at 03-7958 4021 or e-mail to ahmad@aatsb.net or ahmadatalib.blogspot.com.= = = == =

January 15, 2007 10:59 AM

Number Of Flood Evacuees Increases Slightly

In JOHOR, a state police flood operations room spokesman said there were 109,831 victims from 24,765 families at 344 relief centres as of this morning. Batu Pahat had the biggest number of 39,091 victims at 126 centres, followed by Kluang (16,024), Johor Baharu south (10,664), Johor Baharu north (5,753), Kota Tinggi (13,189), Segamat (6,593), Mersing (8,239), Muar (5,611) and Pontian (4,669).

Kota Tinggi town is still under 1m of water in several areas after the Sungai Johor burst its banks, cutting off access between the district and Johor Baharu and Mersing.

The roads that are still closed are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, KM3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, KM32 Bandar Tenggara, KM24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, KM26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai near Sungai Telor, KM40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, KM24 Jalan Mawai at Jalan Tun Habab and KM68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.

In Segamat, several schools in the district remained closed. The student affairs officer at the Segamat Education Office, Jais Saadon, when contacted, said four schools in the district had informed the office that they would be closed for one to two days due to the severe damage wreaked by the floods. The classes would be replaced on other days.

They are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Chaah (on Jan 15 and 16), Sekolah Kebangsaan Segamat (Jan 15), Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Tengah (Jan 15) and Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Jawa (Jan 15 and 16).

In PAHANG, the number of flood evacuees increased to 2,638 this morning, from 2,447 last night. A spokesman at the Pahang police flood operations room said those evacuated were from 570 families in 12 villages in Rompin district. They are being sheltered at 14 relief centres.

In SABAH, a total of 1,398 people from 43 flood-stricken villages in Pitas, about 181km from Kota Kinabalu, were still at four relief centres in the district as at 10am today.

Pitas district officer told Bernama that the number of evacuees was expected to increase further with more people in the process of evacuation. He said a helicopter was being used to send aid, including food and clothing, to about 60 families in four villages -- Kampung Pinapak, Kampung Nibang, Kampung Mandamai and Kampung Mangkabusu -- where road links had been cut off due to the floods. The trunk road connecting Pitas and Kinabatangan is still closed although the water level at Sungai Bengkoka receded to 4.5m, which is below the danger mark, as at 10am.

In Kota Marudu, the relief centres in Pekan Lama Tandek, Kampung Marudu Laut, Kampung Marudu Darat, St Theresa hall, Kampung Asin-Asin, Kampung Baliajung and Kampung Tandek Laut had been closed as all the 919 evacuees had returned home. A district flood operations room spokesman said 1,596 people from 311 families were still being sheltered at other relief centres in the district.

Beaufort still had 334 evacuees from Kampung Jimpanga, Kampung Bakalau, Kampung Melati, Kampung Melalugus, Kampung Bingkul, Kampung Betandok Lubak, Kampung Beringin Gadong and Kampung Bangkalalak. Sixty-eight villages in the district are still under between 0.5m and 2m of water despite the level in Sungai Padas having receded to 8.99m, but is still at the danger level, as at 9am. Twelve villages are still cut off due to flooded roads. They included Kampung Bingkul, Kampung Bakalau, Kampung Melalugus, Kampung Limbawang and Kampung Betandok Lubak.

= = = == =

January 15, 2007 04:32 AM

PM Orders Police To Augment Personnel In Johor

CEBU CITY (Philippines), Jan 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday ordered the police to increase their personnel in Johor to prevent looting in badly-flooded areas of the state. He said many complaints of house-breaking had been received, even in places where the floodwaters had risen very high. "This is something despicable. There is a need to step up surveillance," he told reporters after attending the 12th Asean Summit, here. Abdullah said the people should also play a role in taking measures to prevent looting. "The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, has informed me that he will increase the number of policemen during floods and send aid and ensure safety of the people," he said. Abdullah also called for constant coordination among the police and other government departments to help out at flood relief centres and provide assistance for evacuation and other necessities. He said the country had experienced floods many times and the government was prepared to face the disaster. "Generally, efforts to help flood victims follow a procedure. This is important, especially when the disaster strikes without warning," he said. Despite communication difficulties, relief assistance ran smoothly with the availability of boats and helicopters to get to areas inaccessible to ordinary transportation, he added.= = = = = = =
January 14, 2007 20:39 PM

PM Following Johor Flood Situation Closely, Says Syed Hamid

CONCERNED… Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (left) having a conversation with evacuees while visiting flood relief centre at Kota Kecil Multipurpose Hall. Pix: Hamzah Md Som
KOTA TINGGI, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, attending the Asean summit in the Philippines, is following closely the flood situation in Johor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Sunday. He said he had given a report to the prime minister on the situation in the state, especially Kota Tinggi, after the second wave of floods hit the state in less than a month.

Syed Hamid spoke to reporters during a visit today to the flood relief centre at the Kota Kecil Multipurpose Hall. He had returned to Malaysia last night from Cebu City in the Philippines where he attended the 12th Asean Summit. "The prime minister has pledged to return quickly from the Asean summit in Cebu City to visit the affected areas," he said.

Syed Hamid, who is the Member of Parliament for Kota Tinggi, said the federal government would continue to provide the necessary aid to the flood victims."The Johor government and the federal government will work together closely to ensure that food and other essential items are constantly supplied to the flood victims," he said.

Syed Hamid praised the flood victims for their patience in facing the second wave of floods, saying that they were better prepared and understood what had to be done when the floodwaters started rising. "The pooling of resources to manage the flood victims also went on smoothly, similar to the aid and rescue efforts," he said. The second wave of floods is worse than the first, with 101,136 people having been evacuated in Johor up to this evening. In the Kota Tinggi district alone, 13,329 people have moved out of their homes to relief centres.
= = = = =
January 14, 2007 22:20 PM

MRCS Wants More Volunteers To Assist Johor Flood Victims
FLOODS AID… Volunteers from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris distribute foods and drinks to flood victims. MRCS needs some 300 volunteers to assist the association in helping flood victims in Johor. Pix: Hamzah Md Som. KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) wants more volunteers to assist the association in helping flood victims in Johor. National Natural Disaster Management chairman Dr Selva Jothi said the society needs some 300 volunteers who are willing to be stationed at least one week in flood-hit areas in the state. "Currently, it has stationed 120 volunteers in Batu Pahat, 280 in Johor Baharu, 20 in Kota Tinggi and 15 in Kluang. We have also sent volunteers from other states like Penang and Perlis there, while those from Kedah are still waiting for their assignments," he told Bernama at MRCS headquarters here today. The flood in Johor is not showing signs of improving with the number of evacuees at 338 relief centres reaching 101,136 victims as of this evening. Dr Jothi said the MRCS had sent almost 300 tonnes of food supplies to Johor via train in its mission to help the victims.

= = = = == = = UPDATE, January 14 2007; 19:45pm

The total evacuees now is 101,336 compared to 88,000 in the 1st Flooding

January 14, 2007 18:02 PM

Police Dismiss Rumour Having Declared Emergency In Flood-hit Johor
KLUANG, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- The police today dismissed a rumour that it had declared a state of emergency in flood-hit Johor, saying such a declaration can only be made by the National Security Division (NSD). Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the police only carry out three main tasks during floods -- search and rescue, crime prevention and assisting flood victims at relief centres. "We ask the public not to believe the rumour that emergency has been declared in Johor," he told reporters here. Musa was asked to comment on a rumour that the police had declared a state of emergency in Kota Tinggi, the town worst-hit by the second wave of floods in Johor in less than a month.

Earlier, Musa accompanied Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil on a visit to Sekolah Agama Gunung Lambak where 1,515 evacuees are accommodated. "A state of emergency is when all flood victims are prohibited from returning to their homes," he said. Musa also said that additional policemen would be sent to Johor this evening to assist the authorities in helping the flood victims. "So far, there are 2,120 policemen on duty here, and I have directed the General Operations Force to send 1,000 of its personnel as additional support," he said.
In addition, 500 personnel from the Marine Police and the Federal Reserve Unit have been deployed to Johor, he said. "A total of 29 boats have been distributed to flood-hit areas, and the two helicopters that we sent have been used in evacuating two women in labour yesterday," he said.

= = = = = = =

January 14, 2007 12:25 PM
No Sign Of Floods Easing Up In Johor, 92,000 At Relief Centres
JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- There is no sign whatsoever of the second wave of floods in Johor since late Thursday easing up, as more people are being evacuated to relief centres. This morning, the number of evacuees sheltered at 355 relief centres increased to 92,511 from 74,000 Saturday night. The situation in Batu Pahat district had deteriorated, with 28,061 victims currently housed at relief centres, an increase of 12,461 from last night's 15,600, a spokesman of the Johor police flood operations room said today.

In KLUANG, 16,254 people have sought refuge at relief centres, Johor Baharu South (11,175), Johor Baharu North (6,742), Kota Tinggi (11,066), Segamat (6,214), Mersing (5,979), Muar (3,770) and Pontian (3,250).

The weather in Johor Baharu and Kluang this morning is cloudy with intermittent rain.
However, moderately heavy rain is reported in Kota Tinggi and Segamat since Saturday, forcing two rivers running through the heart of the two towns to overflow the banks.
The Department of Meteorology had forcast incessant rain in Johor would persist until Monday. Meanwhile, Kota Tinggi town is still under one metre of water in certain areas as Sungai Johor overflowed its banks two days ago, cutting off road links between the town to Johor Baharu and Mersing.
Currently, Kota Tinggi is only accessible by boats and helicopters.

The roads closed to traffic are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, Km32 Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, Km26 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, near Sungai Telor. Other roads are Km40 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang in Bandar Tenggara, Km24 Jalan Mawai at Jalan Tun Habab and Km68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.
In KLUANG, a landslide had occurred at Bandar Tenggara, near Felda Pengelih Timur.
Roads impassable to traffic in the district are Jalan Mersing-Kota Tinggi, Mersing-Kluang, Segamat-Labis, Labis-Yong Peng, Labis-Muar, Kluang-Mersing and Kluang-Bandar Tenggara at Sungai Sembrong bridge.
In BATU PAHAT, Km3 Jalan Yong Peng-Chaah and Km26 Jalan Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam are closed to traffic.
In MUAR, Km29.6 Jalan Parit Sulong-Bakri and Km70 Jalan Muar-Labis are out of bounds to light vehicles.

= = = = == =

January 14, 2007 12:58 PM

Train Services To S'pore Back To Normal

SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- Train services to Singapore and Malaysia's southern sector returned to normal since Saturday afternoon after a spate of landslides were rectified, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) said. "The resumption of normal service to the southern sector will, however, be subjected to the weather condition and floodwater levels in the affected areas," it said in a statement. The landslide between Bukit Timah and Woodlands, disrupting train service from Johor Baharu to Singapore on Friday, was rectified at 1.20am Saturday. Other landslides along the southern sector, which have also been rectified, were between Kluang and Paloh, Bekok and Paloh and Labis and Bekok. According to the republic's Meteorological Services Division, wet weather was generally expected during the northeast monsoon season. Last month saw Singapore's record hit of 765.9mm, making it the wettest December since 1869.= = = == =

Danger in water borne diseases. Stop wading in flooded water too often. Two have dieed on Jan 06 07 after contacting "rat urine" in water through wounds.

Flood victims urged to be aware of disease brought by bacteria;;BY FARIK ZOLKEPLI;

JOHOR BARU: Flood victims in the Johor should be aware of a bacterial disease that affects humans brought upon from rat urine says Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman. He said the virus, called 'leptospirosis', spreads through urine of rodents mixed in flood waters. It could easily infect those with wounds on their body. Leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals such as rodents, dogs, and pigs. The time between a person's exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is between two days and four weeks. "I received two reported deaths on Jan 6 and Jan 8 caused by a disease caused by water infected with rat's urine.

"Both victims in their 40s and 60s were flood victims from Kangkar Tebrau and Kampung Seri Purnama," he said adding that the victims waded through flood waters without realising it was infected with the virus. Ghani said both victims experienced fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea but they did not seek immediate medical attention. "The victims were suspected to have wounds on their bodies while going through flood waters and that could be the way the disease could have infected them," said Ghani.

He urged flood victims to seek medical attention if they experience the early symptoms of the disease. Ghani, speaking to reporters after visiting flood relief centres in S.K. Kampung Pasir and Bukit Mutiara here aturday also said that it was compulsory for all food handlers to receive a typhoid jab. "It is a must for all cooks and food handlers to get this jab as we do not want any victims to be infected with any disease through the food at the relief centres." he added. He said that the typhoid jab were given free of charge in all relief centres.

= = = == = = = = = = ==

ABOVE: The education minister, Datuk Hishamuddin comtemplating starting classes in the relief centres. But are the students in the mood to learn?

= = = =UPDATE: JAN14 07; 03:50am
January 13, 2007 23:54 PM

Floods In Johor Worsen, Number Of Evacuees Exceed 74,000

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The second wave of floods in Johor worsened Saturday, sending 74,525 people to evacuation centres as of Saturday night, up from 60,512 in the evening. The monsoon rains anticipated from Monday to Wednesday are expected to worsen the situation even further.

ABOVE: Rescue thru the rooftop & BELOW: By wading to the boat

According to a spokesman of the Johor police headquarters, the highest number of evacuees by district was in Kluang -- 15,717 compared to 14,870 in the evening. This was followed by Batu Pahat (15,607), Kota Tinggi (10,797), Segamat (6,075), Mersing (3,178), Pontian (2,412) and Muar (1,699).
In
KOTA TINGGI, most parts of the town were flooded with 0.5 metres (see BELOW) of water while the main roads into the district, like Jalan Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu and Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing, are still impassable to traffic.

ABOVE & BELOW: Buildings under 0.5 m of water along this road

Other roads that are closed due to the floods are Jalan Seelong-Ulu Tiram, Km 3 Jalan Ulu Choh-Gelang Patah, Km 32 Bandar Tenggara, Km 24 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai, Km 26 Kota Tinggi-Kulai near Sungai Telor, Km 40 Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu at Kampung Batu 23, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang at Bandar Tenggara, Km 24 Jalan Mawai at Jalan Tun Habab and Km 68.8 Jalan Kota Tinggi.
In
KLUANG, a landslide occurred at the road at Bandar Tenggara near Felda Pengelih Timur. Roads closed to traffic are Jalan Mersing-Kota Tinggi, Mersing-Kluang, Segamat-Labis, Labis-Yong Peng, Labis-Muar, Kluang-Mersing, Kluang Bandar Tenggara and at the Sungai Semborong bridge.


In BATU PAHAT, Jalan Yong Peng-Chaah at Km 3, and Jalan Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam at Km 26 are closed to light vehicles. Jalan Batu 18.5 Parit Sulong and Km 70 of Jalan Muar-Labis in Muar are also closed to light vehicles.
Meanwhile, in
PAHANG, the number of evacuees increased from 462 in the evening to 679 Saturday night. A spokesman of the Pahang police flood operations room said all the affected victims were residents of Rompin, from Kampung Kurnia, Kampung Perpat, Kampung Rekoh, Ladang Yayasan and Kampung Bukit Seruk."The water level at Sungai Garung is at 4.7 metres compared with its normal level of 2.1 metres, while Sungai Rekoh recorded a level of 97.41 metres. No fatalities have been reported," he said.
In
SABAH, it was still raining since morning and the road linking Pitas and Kanibongan was still cut off by floods. The worst-hit villages are Kusilad and Kabatasan Laut.
Pitas District Officer Sapdin Ibrahim said the floodwaters started to rise at these villages since last Wednesday and the level of the Sungai Bengkoka reached the danger level of 4.59 metres Friday, forcing nearby residents to be evacuated.Sabah State Education Deputy Director Muhiden Yusin said he had allowed school principals and headmasters to close schools that were hit by the floods.
Friday, three primary schools in Beluran -- SK Sungai-Sungai, SK Sulok and SK Perancangan -- were closed due to the floods
.

= = = = = = = =

January 13, 2007 23:39 PM
Govt Does Not Rule Out Emergency In Johor If Floods Worsen;

From Umi Hani Sharani
CEBU CITY (Philippines), Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian government has not ruled out declaring an emergency in Johor if the flood situation in the state worsens. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said here Saturday the government would closely monitor and evaluate the situation. "So far, it is okay,??????????" he told reporters after attending the first day's session of the 12th Asean Summit, here. Abdullah was asked by reporters whether the government proposed to declare an emergency if the flood situation in Johor worsened. A second wave of floods hit Johor on Thursday night following incessant heavy rain, sending 74,525 people to evacuation centres as of Saturday night. Abdullah said he would visit the flood-affected areas on Monday upon his return from the summit.

The prime minister said the National Security Division had despatched additional manpower to help the flood victims, besides distributing essential items. "In fact, the government has prepared an operation manual that is to be activated in the event of a natural disaster. This is a plan that has been worked out and is often used," he said. Abdullah said personnel from all the relevant government departments were in the flood-affected areas to evacuate flood victims and send food to them.
= = == = = = =
January 13, 2007 22:28 PM

TNB Shuts Down 247 Sub-Stations Due To Floods

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has shut down 247 power sub-stations in several areas in Johor following the second wave of floods over the last two days. TNB Johor General Manager (Distribution) Mohammad Mokhtar Mohd Ali said the sub-stations were in Johor Baharu, Kota Tinggi, Kluang and Segamat. He also said that electricity supply would be disrupted between 8 am and 11 am Sunday in Desaru, Bandar Penawar, Sungai Rengit and Sedili because of reinstallation of cables to a new transmission tower.

= = = =
January 13, 2007 21:21 PM

Warning Of Strong Winds, Rough Seas
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The weatherman today warned that the north-easterly winds of 50 to 60 km per hour and waves of up to 5.5 metres high off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia are expected to persist until Tuesday.
A statement from the Department of Meteorology said the north-easterly winds of 50 to 60 km per hour and waves of up to 4.5 metres off
Sabah and Sarawak are expected to persist also until Tuesday.
It warned that the strong winds and rough seas are dangerous to all shipping activities, including fishing and ferry services, as well as coastal activities.

The statement also said that the widespread thunderstorms occurring in the coastal waters of Sarawak and Sabah are expected.

= = = =UPDATE: JAN13 07; 20:20pm;J anuary 13, 2007 20:20 PM

Second Wave Of Floods In Pahang

KUANTAN, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- Pahang was hit by the second wave of floods Saturday in less than a month when 462 people were evacuated to four relief centres at about noon. A spokesman of the Pahang police flood operations room said the affected areas were in Rompin -- Kampung Kurnia, Perpat, Rekoh and Bukit Seruk -- which were near the Sungai Setajam and Sungai Kampung Bukit Seruk. He expected more people to be evacuated later Saturday.In the other districts, the situation was under control. Meanwhile in KOTA TINGGI, Johor, soldiers are facing a problem in evacuating people in flood-stricken areas as many of them refuse to leave their homes. Commanding Officer of the First Battalion of the First Rangers Regiment (RRD) Lt Kol Abdul Rahman Abdul Wahab said the people had to cooperate to ensure smooth evacuation. "The people should not wait until the last minute when the water level reaches up to their neck to be evacuated," he told Bernama. Abdul Rahman is leading 120 soldiers from the RRD in the rescue mission. They are equipped with 12 boats and 13 trucks. Also involved in the rescue and evacuation mission are members from the army training centre (Pulada) and the 10th Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment. In JOHOR BAHARU, Pulai Member of Parliament Datuk Jazlan Mohamed advised flood victims to be patient as several procedures had to be taken to ensure that the aid went only to those eligible to receive it.

ABOVE: Crossing when the floods are minor and BELOW: even lorries and buses can go down the drains when you misjudged them

"There are some irresponsible quarters, who are not flood victims, whose names are on the list. So, we have to check to ensure that only those eligible get the aid," he said when met during a visit to the flood-affected areas of Kampung Pasir and Kampung Sri Jaya and the flood relief centres in the area. A total of 1,876 people from 269 families are at the centres.Jazlan said the Johor Baharu City Council had agreed to build two more sluice-gates at Kampung Pasir and Kampung Sri Jaya, each costing RM250,000, to alleviate flood problems in the area.

= = = =UPDATE: JAN13 07; 20:05pm
PAHANG 2nd WAVE of Floods; more details coming

January 13, 2007 20:04 PM
Bridge Collapses, Road Link Between Kluang-Kahang Cut Off

KLUANG, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The road link between Kahang and Kluang has been cut off when a bridge over Sungai Semberong at Batu 5 Jalan Kluang-Mersing collapsed (see ABOVE) after being washed by strong current about 4am Saturday. A spokesman from the Kampung Gajah police station said the road was also the access road to the National Service Training camp at Padang Hijau, Kahang, where more than 400 participants were undergoing training. However, he said the camp was not affected by the floods as it was located on higher ground.

ABOVE & BELOW: Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu road - traffic congestion due to landslides at seven locations along the road

Meanwhile in KOTA TINGGI, motorists using the Kota Tinggi-Johor Baharu road were trapped in a traffic congestion due to landslides at seven locations along the road. Workers from the Johor Public Works Department are busy clearing the affected areas


BELOW: Cave-in at 57km Jalan Kota Tinggi -Kluang road

= = = =UPDATE: JAN13 07; 17:37 pm

More People Evacuated Despite Improving Weather

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The number of flood evacuees in Johor increased to 50,172 Saturday morning despite signs of improving weather after two days of continuous rain. There were 20,497 flood victims late yesterday evening. The Department of Meteorology had forecast that bad weather would persist until Monday but there were signs of the rain easing up as sunshine was visible this morning. Heavy rain is reported in Segamat and Kota Tinggi. A Johor police contingent flood operations room spokesman said Johor Baharu still led other districts with the highest number of evacuees -- 13,438 in Johor Baharu South and 5,977 in Johor Baharu North. Kota Tinggi, the worst-hit district, has 5,657 evacuees, and 7,222 in Batu Pahat. There are 13,372 evacuees in Kluang district, Segamat (2,494), Pontian (1,299), Muar (553) and Mersing (160) As at 8am, the number of new evacuees at flood relief centres totalled 11,557. A total of 208 relief centres have been opened. Five roads are impassable to traffic. They are at Km3 Jalan Ulu Cho leading to Gelang Patah; Km18.5 Kulai to Kota Tinggi; Km7 Jalan Senai to Seelong; Batu 3 Jalan Yong Peng to Chaah and Km153 Labis to Yong Peng.= = = = =

Non-stop rain for 48 hours; NST 13 Jan 2007

KOTA TINGGI: Still reeling from the first wave of monster floods two weeks ago, people here are now bearing the brunt of the second wave. A number of roads are impassable after 48 hours of relentless rain from Thursday morning. Kilometre 24 and Km26 of Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai are closed to traffic, while Km24 of Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kluang is open only to heavy vehicles. Some 2,000 people from more than 400 households were evacuated to 14 relief centres yesterday.

ABOVE: Town centre Kota Tinggi and BELOW: Schools washed out

Many children couldn’t get to school as their school buses couldn’t get through. Six-year-old Lim Yang Yu, who had just started going to kindergarten, was told he’d have to give school a miss because the family was "taking another vacation". His family, from Taman Kota Jaya, had returned home a fortnight ago to find their double-storey house flooded. Yang Yu’s 33-year-old mother, Oi Choi Hua, said it took her a week to clean up the mess. School is also out for 1,300 students of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Pei Hwa in Jalan Ah Siang, as the water level there is one metre-high. Parent-Teacher Association chairman Tan Tiah Sung said the night watchman alerted the school at 5am. "The headmaster then told all school bus drivers not to pick up the children," he said. The school will re-open once the waters have subsided. All shops along Jalan Niaga were also closed due to rising floodwaters. "Looks like the nightmare is starting all over again," said 53-year-old textile trader Tan Thoo Teck, who on Thursday was trying to clear his soiled stock by selling it at marked down prices= = = == =

Second wave strikes; Pressure building up at dams;13 Jan 2007
Reports by R. Sittamparam, Sim Bak Heng, Chua Bee Kim, Lau Meisan, Kamachy Habimanan, Dean Dinesh and Chong Chee Seong

JOHOR BARU: A second wave of flooding has struck Johor, sending thousands fleeing back to the evacuation centres they had left only days before. The return of rising waters, predicted by weather-watchers and rescue and relief agencies in the current, exceptional monsoon season, occurred after two days of unrelenting rain across the state. The towns and villages inundated in the first round of flooding between Dec 19 and Dec 26 were again deluged, and the situation is expected to worsen with rain forecast to continue over the weekend. At Press time, 18,753 people had been evacuated to 117 relief centres throughout the state.

ABOVE: Evacuation to a relief centre on a boat

The worst hit district is Johor Baru, with 8,741 people moved to 41 relief centres, followed by Kluang with 6,482 evacuated to 35 centres. Dams in Bekok (Segamat) and Sembrong (Kluang) are overflowing, having breached the danger level of 19.03m and 12.99m respectively. The Macap dam in Kluang is also reaching the danger level, having risen to 17.34m. State Drainage and Irrigation Department director Chong Chee Han said the gates had to be opened to release the pressure building up at the dams. He said the rivers flowing through Parit Raja, Yong Peng, Parit Yaani and other parts of Batu Pahat would swell and could exacerbate flooding in the surrounding lowlands. "We are taking steps to open the coastal floodgates at regular intervals to release water into the sea." The flooding here has resulted in traffic chaos with the closure of several roads, including Jalan Air Molek which leads to the Federal Government Complex. Factories in Tebrau Industrial Estate IV were not spared. Epcos Sdn Bhd, a German electronic components manufacturer, suffered extensive damage for the second time in a month. "The water level started rising at midnight Thursday. Workers were called in to salvage whatever goods and machinery they could," an employee said, adding that they had to work in the dark as power had been cut as a precaution.

Hasnah Nawawi, 60, of Kampung Che Ami at Jalan Tun Razak Susur 1, who called the NST office, said all houses in her area were under a metre of water. "When it happened last month, our household goods were all destroyed. Just as we were cleaning up, we were hit by this double whammy," she said. According to a spokesman of the police flood operations room here, other flooded districts were Batu Pahat, where 913 people had been evacuated to 14 relief centres, Kota Tinggi (1,999 people to 14 relief centres), Pontian (91 people to two relief centres) and Mersing (62 people to 15 relief centres). He said the water level at Sungai Muar had exceeded the danger level of 9.3m, having risen to 9.93m at the river monitoring station in Segamat town and the alert level of 6.16m at the Kuala Segamat station, 8.5m at the Buluh Kasap station and 6.57m at the Sungai Muar-Tijah station.

In Muar, Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said people were being evacuated as a pre-emptive measure. "Although the situation is not as bad as the first wave, we are not taking things lightly. The Johor Flood Operation Centre will be open round-the-clock."He said families in potential flood danger zones throughout Johor would be told to evacuate during daylight hours to ensure better management of flood relief logistics. "Previously we only raised the alarm and evacuated people after their homes had been hit by floods. "This often occurred at night, making relief efforts difficult.

ABOVE: Hanging on to dear life & car

"But with immediate effect, all evacuations will be done during the day before the floods strike. This precautionary measure will be implemented in all areas." The menteri besar confirmed that many flood victims who had only returned home last week were now being forced to leave their properties a second time. In Kuala Lumpur, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil said that the number of evacuation centres in Johor would be increased, especially in Kota Tinggi. Shahrizat told reporters that her ministry was mobilising state officers from unaffected areas to assist the critical districts. Kluang currently has the highest number of evacuation centres (36) sheltering 994 families. Johor Baru has 23 centres for 1,201 families. The ministry has set up 92 centres in total.= = = == = = = =


January 12, 2007
23:57 PM

Floods In Johor Worsen, Kota Tinggi Severely Inundated

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- The flood situation in Johor has turned for the worse following continuous rain over the past few days, resulting in the evacuation of 18,753 victims to 107 relief centres and the town of Kota Tinggi severely inundated.

ABOVE & BELOW: The main town areas flooded again

In less than a month, Kota Tinggi has been hit again by floods. Its major road arteries have again been cut off except for Jalan Johor Baharu-Sungai Sayong-Kota Tinggi.



Kota Tinggi District Information Officer Abdul Razak Mohammad said the water level of Sungai Johor, runs through the historic town, had breached the danger level and now was at 2.9 metres. He said that continuous rain since Thursday, coupled with the high tide at 5.00pm Friday caused the river to overflow into Taman Kota Jaya there. "So far, 15 relief centres have been opened to provide shelter for 1,999 victims," he said. He also said that the road to Mersing could only be used by heavy vehicles as the Jalan Mersing-Sri Perani road was flooded under 0.5 metres of water. As for other areas in JOHOR, Kluang recorded the highest number of evacuees at 6,482 people, followed by South Johor Baharu with 5,720 victims; North Johor Baharu (3,021), Batu Pahat (913), Segamat (465), Pontian (91) and Mersing (62).


The non-stop rain flooded several roads in downtown Johor Baharu between 0.3 to 0.5 metres of water making them passable to only heavy vehicles. A Johor Education Department spokesman said that a total of 46 schools in the state had to be closed Friday due to the floods and that 31 of them had been converted into relief centres. Johor Police Chief Datuk Hussin Ismail said that the flood operations room at the Plentong Police Station in Johor Baharu had to be shifted to the Johor Police headquarters because it became flooded in two metres of water.



So far no new casualties have been reported, keeping the death toll due floods in the state 15 killed since the disaster struck three weeks ago. In BATU PAHAT, the water at the Semberong Dam, built in 1984, hit an unprecedented level of 12.92 metres as of late Friday evening, 0.92 metres higher than its danger level of 12 metres. "The rise was sudden. Within 24 hours, the level had risen by almost one metre," one of the workers at the dam told Bernama. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department said in a statement that the flood situation in the state would worsen further as the wet spell in Johor is expected to continue until Monday. It said that moderate to heavy rain, triggered by the Northeast monsoon blowing across the South China Sea, will also hit Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Terengganu, parts of Sabah and Sarawak. In SABAH, Kota Marudu district officer Matius Sator said that a total of 229 flood victims were still being sheltered at relief centres, of which 43 were transferred from Kg Marudu Laut to Sekolah Kebangsaan Ranau Thursday morning.

= = = = = =
channelnewsasia.com
20,000 flee homes as second wave of floods hits Malaysia's south
Posted: 12 January 2007 1756 hrs

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's south has been hit by a second wave of flooding, with two days of downpours forcing more than 20,000 people to flee their homes, officials said Friday. "It's quite a gloomy morning," said Che Moin Umar, chief of the Crisis and

Disaster Management Directorate. "We have a total number of victims evacuated at 20,051," he told AFP. Che Moin said that most of Johor was affected, and that he expected more evacuations to take place over the weekend, with forecasts of rain. "People are taking very fast action to evacuate themselves ... That is a good step," he said. Hundreds of people were already sheltering in flood evacuation centres in Johor in the aftermath of the first round of flooding which hit late last month, forcing 90,000 to evacuate their homes at the peak of the crisis. Since then rains have hit the country's north and its eastern states on Borneo island. The meteorology department said Friday heavy rains would continue in Johor and three other states in the southwest until Monday. Heavy rain is also expected over the weekend in Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo. Eighteen people have been killed so far in the floods -- the worst in decades -- caused by unseasonally heavy rain, with the latest casualty a young boy who drowned in Sabah last weekend. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday that initial estimates of

the damages from the disaster had reached more than 100 million ringgit

(28.42 million dollars). - AFP/ir

= = = = = =
January 12, 2007 23:07 PM

Abdullah Assures Aid For Second Time Flood Victims In Johor;
From R. Ravichandran
CEBU CITY, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is very saddened by the plight of flood victims in Johor, especially those hit a second time, assured that the government would do all it could to provide them assistance. The Prime Minister said that he would look into their situation as soon as he returned home on Monday after the 12th Asean Summit taking place here ends. He was confident that the Johor government would take the necessary steps to help them in their hour of need. Abdullah also urged flood victims to fully cooperate with the authorities and relief agencies like the Malaysian Red Crescent Society that are there to help them.

"This is a disaster that could not be avoided and as such everyone has to play his or her part to ensure relief operations go smoothly," he told reporters here when asked about the latest round of floods in Johor. In fact, Abdullah said that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar who was also present, would return to Malaysia Saturday to assess the latest situation. Syed Hamid is the Member of Parliament for Kota Tinggi, Johor. He said that the government agencies for such matters were always prepared to act in situations like these. The Prime Minister also hoped that all quarters especially private companies would donate generously to help victims in Johor caught a second time as it came so soon after the first flood disaster there.
= = = == = =
January 12, 2007 19:42 PM

Heavy Rain In Johor Till Monday, Flood Situation To Worsen

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- The flood in Johor is expected to worsen in view of the Meteorological Department's warning that rain in the state since last night will persist until Monday. According to a statement by the department, the moderate rain, brought by the Northeast Monsoon over the South China Sea, will also hit Southeast Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Terengganu, and Northern Pahang in the same period.

The monsoon is also expected to bring moderate rain to Sabah, particularly in Sandakan, Kudat, West Coast and the interior areas, and to Sarawak in Kuching, Sri Aman, Samarahan, Betong, Sarikei, Mukah, Sibu and Limbang until Monday. The report on the latest situation in Johor said it was still raining there, worsening the flood situation further with 16,855 flood victims being evacuated to 93 relief centres. Southern Johor Baharu recorded the highest number of evacuees at 5,645 victims, followed by Kluang (5,433), Northern Johor Baharu (2,749), Kota Tinggi (1,639), Batu Pahat (896), Segamat (340), Pontian (91) and Mersing (62). The continuous rain also flooded several roads in the city which were under 0.3 to 0.5 metre of water, limiting their use to heavy vehicles only.

The department said Johor, which has yet to recover from its worst flood, received its highest rainfall in the one-week period Thursday night. Senai was the wettest with 264 millimetres of rainfall against 18mm the day before. Kluang, Batu Pahat and Mersing also recorded high rainfall readings at 171mm, 121mm and 64mm respectively. The department also issued a strong wind and rough sea warning in the South China Sea and Malaysian coastal areas, particularly in the East Coast, and the situation will continue until next Tuesday with waves peaking at between four to five metres. It reminded the public to be wary and follow the authorities' instructions apart from keeping track on the water levels issued by the Drainage and Irrigation Department.
= = = = = = =
January 12, 2007 21:48 PM

Communication To Kota Tinggi Cut Off
JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Less than one month after Kota Tinggi was hit by the flood, water level had again risen to chest level, cutting off land communication except through the Johor Baharu-Sungai Sayong-Kota Tinggi road. The water level in Sungai Johor which runs through Kota Tinggi had exceeded the danger level of 2.9 metres. Kota Tinggi District

Information Officer, Abdul Razak Mohammad said rain which fell since Thursday night and the rising tide at 5pm Friday had caused the water to run towards Taman Kota Jaya here. "Fifteen evacuation centres had been opened with 1,999 people already there," he told reporters when contacted. He added that the Mersing road was only accessible to heavy vehicles. Meanwhile, a spokesman of the State Police Flood Operations Room said 18,753 people were at the 107 evacuation centres compared with 16,855 at noon Friday. Kluang recorded the highest evacuees (6,482) followed by Johor Baharu Selatan (5,720) Johor Baharu Utara (3,021), Kota Tinggi (1,999), Batu Pahat (913), Segamat (465), Pontian (91) and Mersing (62). He said, continuous rain had caused the water to rise along several roads in the city, making them inaccessible to light vehicles. He said, there were no casualties and the death toll remained at 15 since the first round of flood occurred three weeks ago. Meanwhile, Syarikat Air Johor holdings Sdn Bhd said water supply to all parts of the state was uninterrupted.
= = = = = =
January 12, 2007 14:59 PM

Residents Disappointed With Inaction To Alleviate Floods

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Residents of Kampung Sungai Redan in Ulu Tiram, near here, are disappointed with the authorities for not implementing any flood mitigation project to prevent overflowing of the river in the village. The village was hit by flood yesterday, the third time in a year. A member of the village committee, Mohd Sham Ahmad, 43, said like in previous cases, the village was flooded when Sungai Redan burst its banks. "The village committee has requested that Sungai Redan be straightened and deepened as well as cleared of rubbish to overcome flooding in the village," he added. Mohd Sham hoped that immediate measures would be taken by the relevant authorities to implement flood mitigation. A check showed that villagers had to wade through knee-deep floodwater to get to the flood relief centre. At the height of the flood in the village last month, the water rose up to chest level.

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