KUALA TERENGGANU: Flash floods and thunderstorms threw life into chaos in various places across Terengganu, causing several road closures – and it was only the beginning of the bad news.
Worst is yet to come, said Terengganu Civil Force’s deputy director Mejar Amirsarafudin Zalman.
He said there would be high tides measuring about 2.5m in Kuala Terengganu and up to 3.2m from today for eight consecutive days, which could cause more major floods in the event of rain.
In Kuantan, it poured for more than 12 hours with the rains starting at 6am and stopping only at 7pm, a sign that the monsoon was about to hit the east coast of the peninsula.
The flash floods in Terengganu yesterday, which started after a heavy downpour at about 2am, caused two major roads in Batu Burok here and Serating Merchang in Marang to be closed to light vehicles, while Jalan Sultan Omar and Jalan Kamarudin near Kuala Terengganu Specialist Centre was inundated with water up to 0.4m. The road was not closed.
As of 6.30pm, the Serating Merchang road in Marang had reopened to vehicles.
Some low-lying areas around Kuala Terengganu, Kemaman, Dungun and Hulu Terengganu were affected but no major damage to properties was reported.
Eighty-seven evacuees from Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu were now taking refuge at SMK Badrul Alam Shah in Kemasik; SK Teluk Kalong in Kijal, Kemaman, and SK Gong Tok Nasek here.
They were all from Kampung Sarang Lang, Kampung Baru Kanan, Kampung Baru Kiri, Kampung Gong Cengal (all in Kemaman) and Kampung Gong Tok Nasek.
According to Mejar Amirsarafudin, the cause of the flash floods was the heavy downpour which met with the high tides although clogged drains could also be the reason for certain areas in the city centre.
He also urged the public to be more responsible and stop circulating false flood pictures through WhatsApp.
“We also urge the public not to panic following the spreading of photographs as some were taken in a way to make it look like a disaster.
“The Civil Defence Force is monitoring the situation constantly and we are in contact with all respective agencies including the Meteorological Department and Department of Irrigation and Drainage for immediate reports on flood eventualities,” he said, adding that the public could log on to www.etindakan.terengganu.gov.my or call the operation room for information.
Meanwhile, Mahathir Md Daud, from Kampung Durian Burung here, said it took only 10 minutes for the water level to rise and inundate his house in the morning.
“This is the first time a flash flood occurred in the 45 years that the house has been standing. Everything happened so quickly that we were unable to carry anything.
“We will have to start packing and moving our belongings to a higher place as the flash flood was a warning there could be a bigger one coming soon,” he said, adding that the floodwaters had caused slight damage to his sofa set and the motors in his two refrigerators.
Housewife Rosmah Engah, 36, from Kampung Batu Penunggul, Marang, was a very frustrated woman.
She said such flash floods were a norm every time it rained heavily for six continuous hours in her area.
She blamed poor drainage for causing the flash floods which saw her house inundated at about noon.