KUANTAN: Floods in Pahang claimed the first victim when a Felda settler drowned in rising waters following three days of rain.
Villagers found the body of Zainuddin Sairudi, from Felda Bukit Kuantan near here, in the oil palm plantation at noon yesterday.
Some 650 people were evacuated as waters rose to 3m in certain areas in the mining town of Sungai Lembing, about 40km from here.
At 6pm, several roads leading to and in Sungei Lembing town was under water and not passable to traffic.
Other affected areas were Kampung Gudang Rasau, Panching, Taman Tas, Taman Sg Isap, Beserah and Kampung Jaya Gading.
The Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, visited several flood-hit areas in the afternoon and asked residents to get ready for evacuation if the situation worsened.
He called on the police and relevant agencies to be prepared to carry out the evacuation and have all facilities, such as helicopters, boats and trucks, on standby.
Kuantan police activated the Disaster Control Centre here at about 11am after receiving reports of rising waters.
Earlier, evacuation teams, boats and other equipment were deployed to the affected areas to tackle any eventualities.
Asst Supt Hashim Ya, who is overseeing flood operations, said police were alerted in the morning when Sungei Lembing river started to rise to the danger level. We activated the control centre and contacted all the relevant agencies to prepare for the floods.
The non-stop rain in Kuantan town resulted in several roads being under several centimetres of water, slowing down traffic, especially in the Jalan Bukit Ubi and Jalan Tun Ismail areas.
At 12.30pm, Jalan Haji Ahmad, which leads to Galing Camp about 3km from the town centre, was closed to traffic when water rose rapidly.
The other roads submerged in floods were the Kuantan-Kampung Ubai-Sungai Soi road leading to Pekan (under 0.2m of water at some stretches), Kuantan-Sungai Lembing-Sungai Charu road (under 0.35m of water for some 30m) while other roads came under 0.4m to 0.5m of water.
About 15 houses in the Kampung Batu Puteh Orang Asli settlement in Jaya Gading was cut off by the waters.
Kuantan Town Council public relations officer Mohd Shairul Kamri Mohd Shainuddin urged the public to contact its flood centre of uprooted trees and blocked drainage. The numbers to call are 09-513 6177 or 09-568 9843.
The state Meteorological Services Department warned that the rain, which is prevalent during the annual monsoon, would be intermittent but heavy today.
The South China Sea would see winds of up to 50kph from the north-east. Waves are expected to be between two to three metres high and dangerous to small boats.
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