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Thursday December 21, 2006

Floods wreak more havoc


Reports by NELSON BENJAMIN, HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH, MARSHA TAN, MEERA VIJAYAN, FARIK ZOLKEPLI, MD HANAFI HANAFIAH, FARIDAH BEGUM, AUDREY EDWARDS, LEE YUK PENG, MAZWIN NIK ANIS and IZATUN SHARI 

Pictures by ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG and KENNETH WONG 

SEGAMAT: Two towns in Johor have been cut off by flood waters as heavy rains continue to cause havoc. The flooding has spread to Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Pahang and the situation is expected to worsen. 

Flood waters have cut off access to Kota Tinggi and Segamat, where about 12,000 people are stranded. Patients had to be flown to the Segamat Hospital by helicopter. 

AID ON THE WAY: Fire and Rescue Department personnel loading a boat into an Mi7 helicopter to be transported to Segamat to help evacuate flood victims.
So far, more than 40,000 people in Johor have been evacuated. 

Most of the flood victims have been without tap water or electricity for days. Health authorities in Johor have also reported a rise in water-borne diseases. 

Rescue boats and helicopters have been dispatched to badly affected areas, especially in Johor, where people were picked up from rooftops. 

Syarikat Air Johor Holdings (SAJH) has also dispatched 10 tankers to provide clean water to the evacuees. 

The floods have also caused extensive damage to roads and bridges and a 2km stretch of the North-South Expressway between Jasin in Malacca and Tangkak in Johor had to be closed off yesterday. 

The state, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said, would look into compensation for those who had suffered losses in income, such as rubber tappers, and damage to crops. 

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who visited Muar yesterday, said the floods had damaged emergency supplies like foodstuff, blankets and mats and these had only been replaced yesterday . 

Speaking to reporters in Pagoh, she said that was the reason some relief centres in the state did not have enough blankets and mats for evacuees on Tuesday. 

HEIGHT MATTERS: A group of young men perching on top of payphone booths to stay out of the flood, even as the water level continues to rise in Kota Tinggi.
In Malacca, 3,193 people from 691 families from Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin left their homes due to rising waters.  

A total of 35 relief centres were opened yesterday, with the floods regarded the worst for the three districts in 15 years. 

More than 2,000 people were evacuated in several areas in Rompin, Pahang, especially in Bandar Tun Razak . 

After more than 10 hours of continuous rain, people in Kampung Rekoh in Bandar Tun Razak were evacuated to nearby community halls.  

Other affected areas were Kampung Kurnia, Yayasan Estate and Yayasan Estate II. 

At press time, scores of residents in Kamung Serok, an orang asli village, were waiting to be evacuated. 

More than 6,000 residents, including settlers in nine Felda Selancar schemes, have also been stranded because of two badly damaged bridges in the area. 

In Negri Sembilan, the various government departments in charge of flood relief in the state are fully prepared and on standby, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.  

Flooded areas include Gemas and Gemencheh and a total of 80 people have been evacuated so far.  

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  • Photo Gallery 

    Floods in Segamat, Johor
    Media Player | Real Player 

     

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