Flood victims sad but thankful

JOHOR BAHRU – Despite preparing early for her school-going children, a young mother of seven was saddened to learn that all her children’s school items were washed away by the floods that hit her village yesterday.

Diana Zafini Mohamad Faruddin, 30, from Kampung Laut near Skudai, has four children in primary school, aged between eight and 12, and a child in Form Three.

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“I’m so sad… all the children’s school items like shoes and uniforms are gone.

“I pity my children..that’s all that we had, we can’t afford to buy new ones,” the housewife said when met at a relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Batu 10 here today.

Diana Zafini, however, thanked the state government and the agencies involved for providing a comfortable and safe temporary shelter for her children, especially her youngest who is five months old.

Meanwhile, Diana Zafini’s mother-in-law Marmiah Tompok, 63, said the floods this time are the worst so far.

“My house has been flooded several times. All our belongings could not be saved,” she said.

Kampung Laut is one of the areas severely affected by the floods in this city. As at 8 pm, the floods in Johor have affected 1,780 people from five districts.

Number of flood evacuees rising

Floods in Johor have now affected seven districts with the number of evacuees rising to 5,818 people from 1,540 families as of 8 am today, compared to 1,780 victims from 500 families last night.

Johor State Health and Environment Committee chairman R.Vidyananthan said Mersing and Pontian were the latest flood-affected districts, apart from Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru, Kulai and Batu Pahat.

He said 28 more temporary relief centres (PPS) had been opened, namely two in Mersing, Pontian (one), Kluang (19), Kota Tinggi (14), Johor Bahru (13), Kulai (lima) and two in Batu Pahat.

This brings the total number of PPS operating in the state to 56.

“In Mersing, a total of 57 victims from 14 families were evacuated to two PPS, namely Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tenglu and SK Air Papan.

“SK Tenglu is housing 16 victims involving four families from Kampung Tenglu, while 41 victims from 10 families from Kampung Air Papan are taking shelter at SK Air Papan,” he said in a statement today.

Vidyananthan said in Pontian, six victims from one family from Kampung Ulu Pulai were placed at Dewan Masjid Kampung Ulu Pulai which was opened at 10 pm last night.

He said so far, the five existing PPS have recorded an increase in the number of evacuees, with relief centres in Kluang is currently accommodating a total of 1,826 victims, Kota Tinggi (868), Johor Bahru (2,452), Kulai (581) and Batu Pahat (28).

Jalan Johor Bahru-Kota Mersing has been closed to all types of vehicles after it was inundated with 0.2 m of water.

Weather alert

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) meanwhile has issued a bad weather warning with incessant heavy rain for several areas in Pahang and Johor.

MetMalaysia in a statement today said the rain has been forecast for Pekan and Rompin in Pahang; as well as Mersing in Johor.

It said the districts of Raub, Bentong, Temerloh, Maran, Kuantan and Bera in Pahang as well as Segamat and Kluang in Johor, are expected to experience similar weather until tomorrow.

Heavy rain is also expected in some areas inr Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang (Cameron Highlands, Lipis and Jerantut) and Johor (Tangkak and Muar) until tomorrow.

“The same weather forecast also applies to the districts of Batu Pahat, Pontian, Kulai, Kota Tinggi and Johor Bahru until today,” it said.

Several areas in the west coast states in the peninsula, Sarawak and several areas in Sabah are expected to experience thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds in the evening and up to early in the night during the period.

It said, these situations have the potential to cause flash floods especially in low-lying areas.

MetMalaysia also said that strong northeast winds of more than 60 km per hour and waves as high as 4.5 metres are expected to occur in the waters off Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, eastern Johor, Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan during that time.

These pose the risk of seawater overflow along coastal stretches and at river mouths in the affected places, it said.