KOTA TINGGI: Continuous rain over three days in Johor, from Sunday to Tuesday, has led to the evacuation of nearly 9,487 flood victims, involving 2,755 families to 77 relief centres statewide.
Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the worst hit was Segamat, with 7,113 victims housed in 53 flood relief centres followed by Kota Tinggi, with 986 victims in five centres.
Tangkak has 830 victims, Kluang (213), Muar (167), Mersing (111), Johor Baru (56) and 11 evacuees in Batu Pahat, he said.
Flood victims putting up at the Kota Kechill evacuation centre got temporary relief when Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar showed up in a surprise visit.
He arrived at about 11am and spent about 20 minutes speaking to the flood victims and getting details on the situation.
Sultan Ibrahim said the state government’s early preparations in forming a committee to handle floods had eased the evacuation process of the victims.
He also advised parents not to allow their children to play in floodwaters to avoid untoward incidents.
Housewife Sadiah Aman, 50, who got the chance to shake hands with the Sultan for the first time, said she was overwhelmed by his presence.
The mother-of-four from Taman Mawai, Kota Tinggi added that she was touched to see Sultan Ibrahim shedding tears after witnessing his people’s plight.
Another housewife, Masurah Salleh, 46, said she deeply appreciated Sultan Ibrahim’s thoughts and gesture of spending some time with the evacuees amid the chaotic situation.
“I am sure his presence gave some support and relief to all the victims,” she added.
Meanwhile, Sultan Ibrahim’s son Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Ibni Sultan Ibrahim visited the flood victims at the SJKC Ai Chun evacuation centre and mingled with them for about 20 minutes as well.
Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong, who was also present during the visit, said that the visits showed the Johor royal family’s love and concern for the people of Johor.
“Our ruler’s love and care for the people is clearly reflected by his actions,” said the MCA vice-president.
Separately, Johor Education Department director Shaharudin Sharif said that 14 schools were affected by floods and nine more were being utilised as relief centres statewide.
He said that two schools in Segamat, namely SK Kampung Tengah and SK Segamat Kecil were submerged in water while 11 other schools in the district and SK Peta in Mersing have been affected due to disrupted road connectivity.
The affected schools were SJKC Centrel Site, SJKC Ladang Voules, SK Melayu Raya, SJKT Ladang Gomali, SJKT Sungai Muar, SK Sawah Baru, SK Kampung Tenang, SK Redong, SK Bukit Tunggal and SJKC Tenang.
“Six schools in Segamat, two in Tangkak and another in Kota Tinggi are being utilised as flood relief centres as of noon on Tuesday,” he said, adding that close to 1,500 primary school pupils have been affected.
Several roads have been closed, including Batu 3 and Batu 9 of Jalan Mawai and Jalan Lukut Cina in Kota Tinggi while only heavy vehicles were allowed to pass Jalan Bukit.
In Segamat, Jalan Jabi - Bukit Tempurung, Jalan Utama Felda Pemanis, Seksyen 2 to Seksyen 6 of Jalan Segamat - Kuantan were cordoned off and heavy vehicles could pass through Jalan Felda Kemelah.
The road connectivity leading to Kampung Orang Asli Sedohok as well as Kampung Orang Asli Air Pasir and Kuala Sengka in Kahang, Kluang were also affected.