JOHOR BARU: Five teachers and 14 young children who were trapped by floods were rescued from a kindergarten in Kampung Mohd Amin here.
The classes were disrupted when floodwaters flowed into the kindergarten following heavy rain which started from as early as 6.30am yesterday.
The teachers pushed the pupils’ desks to the side and the children, aged two to six years old, climbed on top to avoid the murky waters.
Larkin Fire and Rescue Department commanding officer Nazarudin Yusof said a team of seven firemen was dispatched to the scene at around 9.30am to rescue the victims.
“The children and five female teachers were waiting in the kindergarten when we arrived. We immediately brought them out of the premises and transported them to a dry and safe area about 550m away.
“We ensured that they were all safe and sound before ending the operations at around 10.45am,” he said.
Non-governmental organisation Ihsan Johor chief executive officer Farah Faridah Baptist, whose members went to the victims’ aid, said the floodwaters reached knee-level during the incident, causing panic among the kindergarteners.
“After learning about the incident, we rushed to provide some aid and transportation to the affected children and teachers.
“Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident,” she said, adding that the victims have been placed at another kindergarten for the time being.
Several locations in Johor such as Johor Baru, Pontian and Batu Pahat were hit by flash floods and strong winds following hours of rain.
As of 4pm yesterday, a total of 200 flood victims sought shelter at six flood relief centres.
In Pontian, 70 victims from 22 families were placed at the Sekolah Agama Kayu Ara Pasong flood relief centre while eight victims sought shelter at Pusat Kokurikulum Johor in Sungai Tempayan.
Those affected were from Kampung Parit Sapran, Kampung Parit Haji Omar, Kampung Kayu Ara Pasong, Kampung Parit Haji Siraj, Parit Labis and Kampung Parit Abdul Rahman.
In Batu Pahat, 69 victims from 22 families in Kampung Seri Bengkal were sent to Sekolah Agama Seri Bengkal for shelter and 30 people sought relief at SK Bintang Peserai.
Meanwhile in Johor Baru, 17 residents temporarily relocated to Dewanraya Gelang Patah and six victims from Kampung Mohd Amin sought shelter at SK Nong Chik.