Johor’s ‘flood bowl’

JOHOR BARU: Weeks after the heavy rains that caused massive flooding in Johor stopped, many in Batu Pahat are still being forced to wade through the waters.

The floods are not receding because of the bowl-shaped terrain, with a wide floodplain area, leaving the floodwaters trapped.

Now, the flood victims are also threatened by water-borne vectors that may bring diseases.

Some areas in the district even experience flood during a high tide even when there is no rain, says Johor Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) director Azren Khalil.

“In the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur, the land is about 50m above sea level, so when there’s a flash flood, the waters recede faster.

“Batu Pahat, meanwhile, has a gentle gradient. During high tides or floods, the water remains stagnant as it has nowhere to flow,” he said.

He added that the best approach is to use pumps to remove the stagnant water from such inundated areas and into the river.

The problem, however, is there are not enough pumps.

“Batu Pahat is a large area and there are places where we cannot use our large capacity pump that can remove 20 cu sec (cubic feet per second) of water.

“The capacity of mobile pumps is quite low,” he said, adding that there are 79 water pumps throughout the state, with 48 in Batu Pahat.

Johor owns 20 pumps while the rest are borrowed from other states.

Pumps were also borrowed from the National Water Research Institute of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Johor health director Datuk Dr Aman Rabu said those living in flooded areas should be extra vigilant of water-borne diseases and to stop children from playing in the stagnant waters.

“They could be exposed to vectors that could cause breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, food poisoning, dengue, skin disease and leptospirosis.

“Always ensure that they are consuming water from a clean source or that it has been boiled, as well as ensuring that the food they consume is clean,” he added.

He said those living in the area should cover up any wounds with plaster or waterproof plaster, wear gloves and goggles when conducting clean-ups, discard rubbish properly so as to keep rats away and wash their hands regularly.

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flooding , Johor , Batu Pahat ,


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