Floods worsen in Kelantan and Terengganu

Floods worsen in Kelantan and Terengganu
Firemen helping flood victims at the town of Tumpat in Kelantan.

Update: Bernama reported that "some 90,250 people have been evacuated as at 9am Thursday in five states ravaged by floods which are showing no sign of letting up". The news wire agency also stated that the number of evacuees is the most Malaysia has ever seen in its history, with the most leaving from Kelantan at 32,343.

KUALA LUMPUR - The situation in most flood-hit states continues to worsen with the authorities warning of continuing heavy rain in the badly-hit states of Kelantan and Terengganu.

The number of evacuees increased to more than 65,000 yesterday with over 26,000 in Kelantan and over 22,000 in Terengganu.

Kelantan is now only accessible via the Kuala Terengganu-Kota Baru trunk road and by air.

The other route to Kelantan through the East West Highway was closed to all traffic after part of the highway at the 65th kilometre near Puncak Titiwangsa collapsed.

The Gua Musang-Kuala Krai road has been closed to all traffic while the route from Padang Besar through Haadyai was also impassable due to the floods.

In Terengganu, the number of evacuees doubled to over 22,000 people in just 24 hours.

The worst-hit districts are Kemaman followed by Dungun, Kuala Terengganu, Hulu Terengganu, Besut and Marang.

The situation in Pahang is also getting worse with more than 13,000 people evacuated.

A spokesman at the Flood Operations Room of the Pahang police contingent said the worst-hit areas are Kuantan, Maran, Jerantut, Lipis and Pekan.

In Perak, Hulu Perak and Kuala Kangsar have also been hit by the flood with over 1,000 people evacuated as of yesterday.

In Sabah, the situation improved slightly with most of the evacuees allowed to return home yesterday morning.

In Perlis, there was not much change in the flood situation and 175 people were still seeking shelter at evacuation centres.

The Johor National Security Council has advised people to be prepared for the possibility of floods striking the state between Dec 28 and 30.

Johor National Security Council principal assistant secretary Azura Muhammed Kifli said the floods could occur due to the incessant heavy rain brought on by the North-East Monsoon.

In a related development, the National Security Council secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab has warned people against spreading false rumours regarding the flood situation.

He said a state of emergency could only be declared by the Prime Minister and the announcement would be made through official channels.

"Declaring an emergency is a very serious matter and surely any announcement about it would not be made through Facebook or WhatsApp messages," he said when commenting on rumours circulated through social media that an emergency was declared in Kelantan yesterday.

He said the authorities would go after those responsible for starting the rumours once the flood in the east coast had abated.

"We won't let them off the hook," he said.

Kelantan police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mazlan Lazim said people must stop spreading false information on the flood situation.

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