Alor Pongsu in Perak hit by worst floods in 18 years

BAGAN SERAI (Bernama): The current flooding in Alor Pongsu is said to be the worst in 18 years.

A check of the affected areas in the town, in Perak's Kerian district, on Monday (Aug 23) found the floodwater in some residential areas had yet to recede, with Kampung Matang Pasir and Kampung Parit Simpang Lima still in 1m of water.

The floods, which hit the area on Friday (Aug 20) following continuous heavy rain, took the unprepared townspeople by surprise and many did not manage to save their property and documents.

Lorry driver Jamaludin Ahmad, 54, who was among the evacuees at the relief centre at SK Alor Pongsu here, hoped the floodwater in his village would recede soon so that he could bring his family home.

Jamaludin, from Kampung Matang Pasir, was at the relief centre with his wife and four children.

"The water in the village is still 1m deep, the same level when we were evacuated on Friday,” he said, adding that most of his furniture, as well as the refrigerator, washing machine and his motorcycle, had been damaged.

Another evacuee, Saerah Abdul Rahman, 75, a single mother from Kampung Parit Simpang Lima, said the fast-rising floodwater was unexpected and she was thankful to her neighbours who helped move some of her belongings to a higher level.

"I live alone. The water was only ankle deep at first, but by 1.30am yesterday (Sunday, Aug 22), it was already chest high. Luckily for me, neighbours and relatives who live nearby came to help me,” she added.

Salasiah Hashim, 71, from Kampung Matang Pasir, was alone at home when the flood hit. She hoped some form of aid would be given to those affected by the floods as many of their household items and furniture were damaged.

As of Monday morning, the number of flood victims in Perak recorded a slight increase with 291 people from 79 families at four relief centres in three districts, compared to 284 on Sunday.

There are 68 people from 19 families at the SK Alor Pongsu centre and 102 people from 32 families at SK Matang.

The affected districts include Larut, Matang and Selama.

The exit from the Alor Pongsu Toll Plaza on the North-South Expressway is also reported to be flooded due to a burst bund at the Sungai Samagagah flood mitigation plan and is only passable to heavy vehicles.

Police have advised evacuees not to worry about losing their belongings at home because patrols were being conducted in areas affected by the floods.

Kerian district police chief Supt Mazuki Mat said a total of 20 policemen from the Bagan Serai police station and Kerian district police headquarters had been assigned to monitor and patrol the affected areas.

Apart from that, Supt Mazuki said the District Commercial Crime Division is also monitoring social media to ensure that no one took advantage of the floods to collect donations, purportedly on behalf of the flood victims. – Bernama

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