255 evacuated in Malaysia due to floods

KUALA TERENGGANU - A total of 255 people from 75 families were evacuated to six relief centres after their homes were inundated with floodwaters since Sunday evening.

They were all moved to three centres in Kemaman, two in Hulu Terengganu and one in Marang.

State secretary Datuk Osman Muda said the state had experienced heavy downpour since 8.35am on Sunday, which caused the water levels at some rivers to rise and overflow into the villages.

He said the flooding had also caused some 13 road stretches to be closed to light vehicles, including Jalan Simpang Gaung-Sungai Tong, Jalan Bandar Kuala Berang-Ajil, Ajil-Jerangau and the main entrance of Felda Mengkawang-Tersat.

Osman, who is also the chairman of the flood management committee, reminded the people, especially those in flood-prone areas, to be extra careful and remain alert as high tides are expected at sea today.

"Some of the rivers have already breached the danger level and with high tides at the sea, these rivers will overflow," he said, adding that villagers should vacate their homes during the day.

"Those who intend to move to evacuation centres need to do so during the day and not at night.

"Moving out at night and at the last minute will only risk their lives and endanger the rescuers," he said.

Housewife Siti Rohani Adam, 38, said she was cooking when she heard her son shouting to her about the floods behind the house at 6pm on Sunday.

"I thought the water was stagnant because of the heavy rain. To my surprise, the water started rising very fast.

"We packed our necessary belongings and moved to the evacuation centre," the mother of four said.

Another evacuee, 31-year-old Latifah Mohd Arif, said she was asked to vacate her house and move to the centre at about 7pm.

"It was raining heavily on Sunday and in the evening, the floodwaters had risen up to about one metre high. After a while, it receded.

"But all of a sudden, the water level started rising again and we were left with no option but to move to the evacuation centre," said the computer technician.