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Kemaman suffers worst flood in 50 years
Published on: Monday, December 30, 2013
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KEMAMAN: In Malaysia, the perennial flood has always been associated with the East Coast states, especially Terengganu and Kelantan. In fact, since early 1950's it had become an annual affair for the two states to suffer from the year-end monsoon floods.

However in recent years, other states such as Johor, Kedah, Perlis and Perak also had their fair shares of inundation, causing losses that ran into millions of ringgit.

One of the major floods to hit the country must be the big floods of Johor in 2006 where more than 90,000 people evacuated, which also affected Pahang, involving the districts of the Pekan and Rompin with more than 20,000 victims relocated to safer grounds.

This year, Pahang and Terengganu bore the brunt of the natural calamity.

Earlier this month, more than 40,000 people were evacuated due to floods in Pahang, especially in Kuantan.

In Kemaman, Terengganu, flood evacuees at relief centres numbered around 20,000.

On Dec 2, only 133 people from Kampung Teladas and Air Puteh in Kuantan were affected by floods, but the number rose dramatically to 1,000 people the next day and later, 8,000 victims had to be moved into evacuation centres.

The flood in Kemaman, on the other hand, reached its peak on Dec 7 when more than 19,000 evacuees at relief centres had to endure a period of incommunicado when all roads were closed and communication with outsiders was not possible.

The big flood literally paralysed Kemaman as power lines had to be disconnected for safety.

The district was said to have been hit by the worst flood in 50 years.

Even the areas on higher grounds such as Felda Neram Satu, Cheneh, Binjai and Geliga were not spared.

Apart from that, police stations, fire and rescue stations, schools and clinics in those areas also went under 1.5 metres of water.

At that time, military trucks and boats had to be mobilised to evacuate victims to relief centres.

Kemaman police chief Supt Che Suza Che Hitam said there were more than 50 cases on flood victims refusing to evacuate to safer places.

On Dec 4, six flood volunteers were almost drowned after their boat capsized when they were on their way to Kampung Seberang Tayor.

They had to hang on to the boat for their dear lives for 15 minutes before help arrived.

It was undeniable that uniform personnel, such as police, army, fire and rescue squad, as well as nurses, had given outstanding performance and went beyond the call of duty for the community during this trying time.

In this regard, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was highly impressed with the patience of Kemaman residents during the floods.

Ahmad Shabery, who is also Kemaman member of Parliament, said it was hoped that the people would be better prepared for the disaster after this chapter.

"The arrival of thousands of security forces personnel and volunteers from non-governmental organisations to help flood victims in Terengganu showed Malaysians have also always shared their concerns for their fellow countrymen in times of difficulty," he said. - Bernama


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