Drop in flood evacuee numbers


Going with the flow: Boats are used as a means of travel in Kampung Melayu Hulu in Serian, as villagers adapt to the flood situation. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The flood situation in Sarawak, Pahang and Sabah has improved, leading to a drop in the number of evacuees, but the situation in Johor remains pretty much unchanged.

In Sarawak, the number of evacuees at relief centres dropped slightly to 4,247 yesterday morning from 4,343 the previous night.

In its latest report, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee said 51 centres have been operating in the six flood-hit districts since last Wednesday.

Kuching district still has the highest number of evacuees at 2,853 in 33 centres, followed by Serian (1,068 in 10 centres), Samarahan (319 in seven centres) and Miri (seven at one centre).

In Pahang, 5,913 evacuees from 1,632 families are still seeking shelter at 77 centres.

The Social Welfare Department’s portal reported that Pekan still recorded the highest number of evacuees at 2,928, followed by Maran (1,487), Kuantan (849), Temerloh (392) and Bera (257).

Meanwhile, the infobanjir.water.gov.my portal reported that after more than a week at the danger level, the river level reading at Lubuk Paku, Maran, along Sungai Pahang, finally dropped to “warning” level yesterday, though the reading at Serambi, Pekan, is still at danger level.

The level of Sungai Jelai in Lipis has remained at the danger level since the floods hit Pahang on Jan 3.

The Social Welfare Department added that the number of evacuees in Pahang dropped to 5,913 at 77 relief centres yesterday.

In Sabah, at least 183 people were at evacuation centres as at 4pm yesterday. These villagers are from three districts – Pitas, Beaufort and Paitan – and comprise a total of 51 families from 120 villages.

They are housed at five temporary shelters comprising Kg Kusilad Hall and SK Pekan II in Pitas, DSP Mohd Dun Banir Hall in Beaufort and Dewan Binsulung and Dewan Kubambangan in Paitan.

According to the state Civil Defence Department, other areas with thousands of people still affected by floods are Kota Marudu, Lahad Datu, Kudat and Membakut.

However, the villagers have either been allowed to return home or do not require evacuation.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Meteorological Department has warned that heavy rain has been forecast for several areas in Sabah and Sarawak until tomorrow.

In a statement, it said the areas that would be affected in Sarawak are Kuching, Serian, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri (Subis, Beluru, Miri and Marudi) and Limbang.

For Sabah, the areas include Sipitang, Tenom, Kuala Penyu, Beaufort, Keningau and Tambunan, the west coast, Kudat, Telupid, Beluran and Sandakan as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan.

In Johor, the number of flood victims at temporary relief centres remains at 93 individuals from 23 families.

State health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said as at 4pm yesterday, the number of evacuees at the two remaining temporary relief centres in Segamat and Batu Pahat remained unchanged.

“The number of victims in Segamat remains at 76 from 20 families while Batu Pahat has 17 victims from three families, ” he said.

The number of flood victims in the state has remained unchanged since Friday noon, after flood victims from Kota Tinggi, Kluang and Johor Baru were allowed to go home.

Vidyananthan noted that only Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kluang in Kluang is still closed to traffic as of yesterday.

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