Flash flood dampens Hari Raya celebrations in Malaysia

Flash flood dampens Hari Raya celebrations in Malaysia
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - The plans of several families to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri at resorts in Janda Baik had to be aborted after a flash flood hit the area.

Janda Baik Resort Association chairman Datuk Rusma Ibrahim said she saw water rushing down the hills, causing the nearby river to overflow yesterday morning.

She said it was "the worst ever flash flood" to hit the area, adding that many of her guests were unable to make their way to the resort.

"Many of them arrived at about 9.30am and they were shocked to see the roads filled with water. Most decided to leave because of that," said Rusma, owner of Al-Sakinah Eco Resort. The flash flood also destroyed some attractions at her resort, including a fish pond.

"Most of my fish are probably swimming in the river now," said Rusma, who added that the flood water rose to her ankles.

Rusma blamed "uncontrolled logging" at a nearby hill slope as the main cause of the flood.

"The only time we encountered a flash flood was in December last year. It wasn't as bad as today (Sunday)," said Rusma, who feared a repeat of the flood if logging continued.

"If it happens again, this will affect our business. And the damages may be worse," she told The Star over the phone.

D'Ark Resort's assistant manager Nurul Aswad Akib was unable to make her way to work yesterday morning.

"When I arrived, the whole area was filled with water - at least a metre-high. The main gate to the resort has even toppled," she said.

Nurul, who travelled from her home in Kampung Sum Sum, had to wait until the water receded before she could get to the resort.

She discovered that the fencing had also been washed away.

"Even the roads cracked," she said. "This is the worst flood in Janda Baik."

Assistant Fire Superintendent at the Pahang State Fire Department Murtaza Khatibin Kamarudin revealed that two residents were trapped in their house due to the floods.

"When our engines got there, the locals had already managed to get them out," he said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.

Murtaza added that the flood was caused by an overflowing of the nearby rivers.

"It came quickly and it receded quickly," he said.

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