Kelantan districts in peril

KOTA BARU - The flood situation in Kelantan is still critical with five districts in serious situation following the disruption of basic amenities caused by floods.

State Flood Disaster Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said electricity and water supply in Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah, Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas and Tumpat, were still disrupted.

"Only a third of people in Kelantan have access to electricity while only one-fourth here have clean water.

"We are doing our best to distribute aid," he said at the Commu­nication and Multimedia Ministry's media room here, yesterday.

Mustapa said although areas like Kota Baru, Pengkalan Chepa and Kubang Kerian were badly affected, authorities could still reach the evacuees there.

"We are identifying the number of houses that is completely destroyed. We have identified some 570 houses in Gua Musang. The number will increase," he warned.

Royal comfort: Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan meeting some flood victims at a relief centre in Kuala Krai.

Mustapa, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, said the authorities had deployed 11 helicopters as well as trucks to send aid.

"We are concerned as some areas cannot be reached via land and communications are completely cut off. We are doing our best," he said, asking police to safeguard property following reports of looting.

After receiving reports of at least six such cases in the state, Mustapa said he was concerned about those taking advantage of someone else's misery.

"I will ask the police to closely monitor the situation and bring the culprits to justice," he said, adding that he was disappointed by such reports as there was enough food.

Looting had been reported in Pengkalan Chepa, Tanah Merah and Kuala Krai.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said it made sure that there were enough items for the 30 major suppliers of sundry shops in the state.