PETALING JAYA: Access to the country’s flood-hit east coast states is now almost totally cut off after waters submerged many of the main roads to the affected areas.
The number of evacuees also rose by nearly 40,000 overnight as the Meteorological Department warned of a new round of heavy rains lasting until Wednesday.
A total of 200,023 evacuees are currently seeking shelter at more than 500 relief centres in five states, up from 160,921 on Saturday.
The East Coast Expressway was the latest major road to be flooded yesterday when water from Sungai Pahang spilled over at the 126km stretch of the highway at Temerloh, cutting off access to most parts of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.
The Works Ministry in a Twitter message issued information on an alternative route that is still open for travellers to the east coast states, starting from Karak via the coastal road through Cherating and then on to Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru.
As at 6.30pm yesterday, Kelantan remained the worst-hit state with the number of victims rising to 124,966 from 81,925 the day before.
Terengganu had 36,410 evacuees, Pahang (33,601), Perak (4,581) and Johor (465).
The Meteorological Department issued a three-day “yellow” stage alert from today for Perlis, Kedah, north Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor.
The alert, which warns of the possibility of monsoon rains and heavy winds, also covers Kudat and Sandakan in Sabah as well as Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Betong in Sarawak.
In Alor Setar, the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) announced that it had opened tide gates at three irrigation canals over the past two weeks to prevent the floods in Kedah and Perlis from worsening.
Its chairman Datuk Othman Aziz said the measure was necessary to prevent water from Sungai Pendang, Sungai Anak Bukit, Sungai Padang Sanai, Sungai Bata and Sungai Arau from spilling over.
There were no plans yet to release water from the Pedu, Ahning and Muda dams in Kedah, Othman said.
In KUANTAN, Temerloh has been effectively cut off to land vehicles after a section of the East Coast Expressway became severely flooded.
According to the Pahang Public Works Department, several trunk roads leading to and from the district were also inaccessible to all vehicles.
Main roads from Temerloh to Bera and Jerantut have also been closed after the water level rose to more than a metre high.
A spokesman from the Pahang police contingent headquarters flood operations room said the Seremban- Kuala Pilah-Serting-Muadzam Shah-Kuantan route could be used as an alternative for travel between Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur.