Villager shocked by fast-rising water

Villager shocked by fast-rising water
Mr Abdul Razak sitting on the steps of his house in Kampung Pogoh 2. He said he refuses to leave because the last time there was flooding, the homes of people who evacuated were looted.

For Mr Yahaya Mohd Salleh, 68, the annual floods are nothing new. Floods had forced him to flee his single-storey house in 2006, and again in 2011.

But even he was shocked by how quickly the water rose this time.

"We experience flood every year, but not of this magnitude," said the rubber tapper. "This time, the water rushed into my house and quickly rose to chest level."

He and his wife gathered their children and grandchildren - 11 in all - and rushed to the nearest relief centre in Kampung Pogoh 2.

This year, he reckons they will be at the centre - one of 19 in Segamat - for at least a month.

More than 1,080 people have been evacuated here since Monday, Johor civil defence state director Ghazali Abdul Rahman told The Straits Times.

That makes it the second-worst hit district in Johor after Mersing, where 5,450 people have been moved. A total of 8,402 people have been evacuated in the state.

Still, it was business as usual in Segamat's town centre - still flood-free - when The Straits Times team arrived on Wednesday. But flooded fields could be seen as the team headed for the villages.

"The worst-hit kampungs have water rising to the roofs of the houses," said Colonel Ghazali.

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