Miserable days for villagers

(From left) Nafeesah Haron, 10, Aiman Azizan, eight, and Arqil Mohd Azrifitri, seven, wading through a flooded path at Kampung Seberang Meleleh in Kodiang, Kedah. — Photos: G.C. TAN/The Star

CONTINUOUS downpour since Saturday caused flashfloods at several villages in Kedah and the Muda Dam to overflow.

As villages in many districts became knee-deep in floodwaters, Muda Dam is now 111% full and water is spilling over the wall at a rate of 128.4 cubic metres per second.

Villagers are at their wits end as they have to cope with the heavy downpour and the Covid-19 pandemic fear.

In a statement, Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) said the dam has been overflowing since Nov 14, even before the downpour started on Saturday.

Mada also said that heavy volume of rain recorded at the Sungai Padang Terap water catchment area, caused Sungai Padang Terap in Kuala Nerang to reach a dangerous level of 17.12m at a rate of 188 cubic metres per second.

Among the affected districts are Bandar Baharu, Padang Terap, Sik and Kubang Pasu.

Muhammad Amar Naufal, 16, making sure that his grandmother’s chickens are safe from the floods.Muhammad Amar Naufal, 16, making sure that his grandmother’s chickens are safe from the floods.

Bandar Baharu District Disaster Management Committee Secretariat said heavy rain which began at 1pm on Saturday, which continued for more than two hours caused the water in Sungai Punti in the Bandar Baharu district to rise and overflow to the main road and nearby villages.

Secretariat officer Abdul Rahim Khairuddin said residential areas in Kampung Batu 16, which are within a four kilometre radius of the river, were also flooded.

“Five houses there were under 0.4m of water but no flood relief centre was open.

“However, representatives of various agencies such as the village head’s office, Civil Defence Department and villagers came forward to help.

Norizan pointing to his flooded home.Norizan pointing to his flooded home.

Over at Padang Terap, Mohd Shukri Shuib said that Sungai Padang Terap overflowed after continuous rain which started at 4pm until 9.30pm.

“A total of 13 houses in several villages such as Kampung Pokok Machang, Kampung Padang Lalang, Kampung Sena, Kampung Kuala Pai and Kampung Pong Manis were hit by flashfloods.

A check by The Star at Kampung Seberang Meleleh and Kampung Alor Pudak in Kodiang at the Kubang Pasu district, found some 15 houses were inundated after three hours of downpour on Saturday.

Children were spotted having fun, playing in the floodwaters in front of their houses while the elders were seen checking on their poultry life.

Villager Norizan Ahmad, 51, also known as ‘Bob Janggut’, said the village houses started flooding at about 8pm on Saturday.

“The water is knee-deep and till Sunday afternoon, the floods have not subsided. If rain continues, the floods will get worse, ” he added.

Villages affected by flash floods in Sik district were Kampung Kota Bukit, Kampung Changhai, Kampung Kuala Ruman, Kampung Kota Bukit, Kampung Parit, Kampung Langgok, Kampung Kerawai, Kampung Bandar Hilir and Kampung Charuk Kechil.

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