Over 2,400 evacuated in flood-hit Terengganu

KUALA TERENGGANU - More than 2,400 people have been evacuated from their homes, as floods inundated the state of Terengganu following heavy rain this week.

The capital city Kuala Terengganu was the worst affected, with more than 1,500 evacuees from 400 displaced families, the New Straits Times reported yesterday.

Officials have opened 17 relief centres around the state to deal with the floods, which regularly affect Malaysia's east coast during the year-end monsoon season.

The affected areas in Terengganu are under 0.5m to 1m of water, but all roads remain open, The Star reported.

In Kuala Nerus, 45 families from Taman Desa Tanjung Damai were forced to evacuate their homes when the waters rose on Tuesday, flooding the entrances to their houses up to knee level.

Ms Zurawati Abdullah, 40, said she was shocked to see the water when she came home from work.

"My husband and I quickly moved out important belongings to a higher level to prevent damage," she was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Elsewhere, reports say that 25 people from five families in Kelantan were also evacuated on Tuesday night due to floods.

The floods are beginning just as residents in the east coast have been advised to brace themselves for wet weather and strong winds in the coming months.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) said Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor would experience heavy rainfall lasting for days, The Star reported yesterday.

"The north-east monsoon rain will start from Kelantan and Terengganu and shift south to Pahang and Johor in December and January," the MMD said in a statement.

"Sabah and Sarawak will experience heavy rainfall in January and February."

People in the east coast and Sarawak will also face rough seas and strong winds, it said.

If the monsoon surge is strong, heavy rain will also be expected in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca.

The rainy north-east monsoon season began on Nov 7 and is expected to end in March next year.

The MMD said, however, that the rainfall levels are expected to be similar to those in previous years.

It added that low-lying areas and riverbanks, which were flooded during the previous monsoon seasons, are likely to be flooded again.

The Welfare Department's director-general Noraini Hashim said it had ensured sufficient stocks of items needed to help flood victims at its distribution centres.

This article was first published on November 20, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.