CAMERON HIGHLANDS - Water released from the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam after the siren was sounded - which was either not heard or went unheeded - brought death and destruction to Bertam Valley in Ringlet here.
As of press time, three people were confirmed dead, nearly 100 houses destroyed or under water and over 100 vehicles badly damaged.
Thirty-eight people from about 80 families have been placed at the Ringlet community hall.
Police said that two of the dead were foreign workers while a colleague of theirs was missing. The other was a 51-year-old man who suffered a heart attack during the commotion and died on the way to the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom hospital in Tanah Rata.
Another Malaysian, a 38-year-old man, was injured and sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun hospital in Ipoh.
Police said the water from the dam under the jurisdiction of Tenaga Nasional was released thrice - at midnight, 1am and 2.45am on Wednesday.
The havoc started after the second release when water gushed down to the houses on Pahang Drainage and Irrigation Department land.
Some 15 kongsi houses on the banks of Sungai Bertam were destroyed.
Police have identified the two foreign workers as Bangladeshi Md Jahangir Alam, in his 30s, and 46-year-old Indonesian Kesmat.
The dead local was Tam Tuck Choi.
Cameron Highlands OCPD DSP Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu said the first body was found at 8am and the second at 8.15am in two different houses.
He added that the search and rescue team was still looking for 17-year-old Indonesian Jarwati.