Floods worsen in Johor

JOHOR BARU: Continuous heavy rain since New Year’s Day in Johor has forced some 1,800 people to seek shelter at 28 temporary relief centres in four districts.

Kampung Sepakat Baru villager Mohd Sarip Darsan, 82, said it saddened him to see his food supplies being washed away by floodwaters.

“It was around 9am. My wife was busy preparing breakfast when floodwaters suddenly came gushing in. Luckily, my son was around and took us to a relief centre, ” he said, adding that the water came up to waist level.

He has lived in the village for more than 30 years with his wife Sainah Selamat, 82, and found the current floods to be the worst ever.

Harmeet Singh, 36, who lives in a four-storey apartment block with his wife and parents at Taman Tampoi Indah, said: “Those living on the ground floor have been relocated to a nearby relief centre.”

The apartment is located right next to Sungai Skudai, one of the main rivers here.

The floods were a first for him since moving there seven years ago.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad advised the public to adhere to the orders given by the authorities to relocate them to relief centres and avoid untoward incidents.

“Looking at the weather reports that I received, continuous rainfall is expected in the next one or two days.

“This could lead to worsening floods. I urge the public to always put safety and security above all else, ” he said.

Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said there were nine victims from five families in the constituency to date.

He said seven from four families had been sent to a temporary flood evacuation centre while a family of two sought refuge with relatives.

“Volunteers from the Ayer Hitam parliamentary service centre, together with various government agencies, village and community heads were working to help those affected, ” said Dr Wee, who is also Transport Minister, in a Facebook post.

He added the volunteers were also handing out aid including food.

Meanwhile, the flood situation in the state worsened with the first death recorded while 1,780 people have been relocated to 28 temporary relief centres here, in Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Kulai and Batu Pahat.

State health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said that as of 8pm yesterday, there were 698 victims in Kluang, followed by Johor Baru with 690 victims, Kota Tinggi (286), Kulai (99) and Batu Pahat (7).

He added that there was a temporary road closure at FT092 along Jalan Pengerang-Kota Tinggi after parts of the stretch were flooded.

Kluang Fire and Rescue Department operation commander Shamsul Amri Mohd Shahab said a 59-year-old woman drowned after falling into a drain along Jalan Setia in Kampung Contoh.

The department, he said, received a distress call at about 12.39pm yesterday and deployed one fire truck with nine personnel to the location.

“The body of the victim, identified as Halijah Majid, was recovered from the water-filled drain by members of the public.

“A medical team tried to perform CPR to save the victim but she was pronounced dead at the location, ” he said.

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