Roundup: Flood situation improves in northern Malaysia

December 28, 2005


The flood situation in four states in northern Malaysia, believed to be the worst in 30 years in some states, significantly improved on Monday as more evacuees were allowed to return home. 

The flood situation in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis was improving as local authorities allowed more people at relief centers there to return to their houses. 

In Kelantan, only one river remained above the danger level, while all the others in the state have receded below the danger mark. 

The fine weather in several places there including Kota Baharu reportedly helped improve the situation. As of 3:00 p.m. on Monday, only 157 people remained at relief centers in the state. 

In Terengganu, the situation has almost recovered to normal, with only 142 evacuees staying at local relief centers on Monday. 

Local police said that so far, only two flood relief centers remained open and all the main roads in the state re-opened for normal traffic. 

Meanwhile, the water level of most rivers in Terengganu have receded, except one remaining above the danger mark, but just 0.2 meter higher. 

The water level in the river was receding and expected to return to normal level if there was no heavy rain in days, local hydro officials said. 

In Kedah, most of the evacuees have returned home, while the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport at Kepala Batas, which closed due to the floods, will re-open on Tuesday. 

However, the number of evacuees remaining at flood relief centers in some districts around the state was significant. 

In the Kota Star district, a total of 1,336 victims still stayed at three relief centers on Monday, although 2,178 evacuees went home at noon. 

In the Kubang Pasu district, 1,558 people were still staying at the flood relief centers. Meanwhile, a local flood relief spokesman said there were two areas in the district still affected by the floods. 

In Perlis, the situation has improved, with only 654 people from 149 families still at relief centers as of 5:00 p.m. on Monday. 

A state flood relief spokesman said that only six relief centers remained operating in the state, while at the peak of the floods, more than 50 relief centers were open to accommodate the flood victims. 

Currently, some areas in Perlis were still under water. 

Heavy floods started to hit the four states more than a week ago due to heavy rains. At its peak, about 70 percent of the Perlis state were inundated, most of the electricity and water supplies were cut off, many roads were disrupted and a large tract of crops were destroyed. The total number of evacuees in the four states once soared above 20,000. 

Malaysian government leaders attached great importance to the flood relief work and moved quickly to fight the floods. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak toured the flooded areas immediately after the floods struck. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently inspected the flooded areas and instructed agencies concerned to unroll their flood relief work, including providing food, shelters and vaccination to the flood victims. 

Badawi expressed satisfaction with the coordination among all parties involved in flood relief in the country, including the evacuation of flood victims. 

Source: Xinhua



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