Do not drive through floods – Police

KUALA LUMPUR – Motorists are advised not to take the risk of driving through flooded roads to avoid untoward incidents.

Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) director Datuk Azisman Alias said the public must prioritise their safety since many roads were flooded and the fast water flows could be disasterous.

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“Road users need to be careful and do not take the risk of continuing with their journey if the roads they are travelling on are under water.

“Be careful during this flood season. If there is no need to go out, just stay at home,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Today, Bernama reported that a man was believed to have been swept away with his vehicle at Batu 18 Jalan Kluang-Kahang, at 8 pm yesterday after helping his wife to get out of the car after the water rose sharply as they tried to continue travelling on the flooded road.

Earlier, several videos went viral on social media showing motorcyclists trying to brave roads under fast-flowing flood water and experiencing mishaps.

Another viral video also showed a motorcycle being swept away by strong currents but the motorcyclist and his pillion rider managed to save themselves.

Roads closed

Continuous downpour since yesterday resulted in the closure of several roads in Pahang due to landslides and flooding.

Raub district police chief Supt Kama Azural Mohamed said Jalan Raub-Bukit Fraser was closed to all vehicles at noon today following landslides at Kilometre (KM) 4 and KM 6, with access blocked by soil and fallen trees.

“There are no casualties reported in the incidents and for now, the authorities are trying to clear the road and put up warning signs to stop road users from entering the area,” he said when contacted here today.

In Bentong, district police chief Supt Zaiham Mohd Kahar confirmed the old Bentong-Raub road was also closed to all road users following a landslide near Sang Lee around 11.50 am today.

Meanwhile, the stretch of road at KM198 of the East Coast Highway Phase 1 (LPT1) between Gambang and Sri Jaya in Kuantan, which was flooded this morning, was reopened at 3.30 pm to all vehicles.

LPT1 concession holder, ANIH Berhad announced in a statement that both eastbound lanes were reopened while only the fast lane headed to Kuala Lumpur is opened for vehicles at the moment.

“Road users are asked to obey duty officers at the location to ensure a smooth journey and are advised to follow current developments on our Twitter @LPTTrafik and Facebook page,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Pahang Works, Transport and Health committee chairman Datuk Seri Norolazali Sulaiman said 15 roads in Maran district were closed to all vehicles after being flooded by waters exceeding 0.76 metres.

The roads include those around Maran town and Sri Jaya that were flooded this morning, besides roads around Felda Jengka including Jengka 3, Jengka 5, Jengka 8, Jengka 13, Jengka 15 and 16 as well as the road leading to Jengka Matriculation College.

“Road users are advised to remain updated with announcements and warnings from authorities regarding road closures as continuous rain may lead to more road closures.

Norolazali said in Jerantut, the four federal roads closed are Jalan Jerantut-Maran, Jalan Padang Piol-Sungai Rentang, Jalan Kota Gelanggi and Jalan Ulu Retang ke Merting.

Meanwhile, Jalan Ulu Gali and Jalan Ulu Jelu in Raub as well as Jalan Pintasan Kampung Aur, Jalan Simpang Sepayang and Jalan Paya Sepayang in Rompin are also closed due to flooding.

Cold snap

Temperatures across the Klang Valley meanwhile dropped to as low as 23°C today, among the lowest in months as the country is currently gripped by cold weather due to the northeast monsoon season, commonly known as the ‘winter monsoon’.

According to the Long Range Weather Outlook posted on the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) website, the cold and rainy monsoon season which started on Nov 11 last year is expected to continue until March this year.

“During this period, the country will receive a steady north-easterly wind with occasional strong winds, with speeds of between 10 and 20 kilometres per hour.

“A series of heavy rainfalls are expected to occur mainly in the east coast states of the Peninsula, west Sarawak and east Sabah,” it said.

The department also warned that continuous heavy rainfall for several days can result in floods in low-lying and flood-prone areas, and the risk of flooding may be worsen if heavy rainfall coincides with high tide.

In addition, continuous and strong north-easterly winds can cause rough seas and big waves in the waters of the South China Sea.

MetMalaysia also reported that most major cities in the country are experiencing continuous rainfall today, with the minimum temperature recorded in Cameron Highlands at 17°C followed by Kluang (22°C) while Kuala Lumpur, Temerloh, Kuala Pilah, Batu Pahat and Kuantan at 23°C.

Some social media users expressed their joy at the weather, some even describing it as ‘winter has arrived in Malaysia’.

A postgraduate student Aleya Abdullah, 24, who is currently residing in Janda Baik, Pahang said she does not have to switch on the electric fan or air conditioner all day long due to the chilly weather.

An entrepreneur Abu Huzaifah, 25, told Bernama that the cold and misty weather in Johor gave him the chance to witness the picturesque Gunung Ledang, surrounded by mist this morning.