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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

IT'S NOT OVER! Fears of fresh flooding as heavy rains forecast in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang

Ten people have been killed in Malaysia's worst flooding in more than 30 years and over 219,000 displaced from their homes, local media reported today, with residents worried about further inundation.
While the waters were beginning to recede today, more bad weather was forecast over the next two days, with intermittent to heavy showers predicted for the northeastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
The region is regularly hit by flooding during the annual monsoon, between November and March, but this year's storms have been unusually powerful.
"In my 42 years of living in Kelantan, I have never witnessed such a storm and destruction," said Ee Su Chuong, 42, the owner of an auto repair shop in Kota Baru in Kelantan – the worst-hit state.
"But our fear is there could be another fresh round of flooding. We are certainly worried."
Ee also said that electricity had not been fully restored in Kota Baru.
As waters receded, images of overturned vehicles and victims returning to their homes to salvage their belongings were splashed across local newspapers.
Another area badly affected by the storm is the Kuala Krai district, also in Kelantan – one of Malaysia's poorest states – where thousands of homes are totally submerged.
"I hope there isn't a third wave like people have been saying," Kuala Krai resident Maznah Abdul Rahman, 55, was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – who has come under fire for what was seen as the government's slow response to the crisis – announced an additional RM500 million assistance after touring parts of Kelantan over the weekend.
Najib also ordered all his Cabinet ministers to return to work, cutting short their traditional year-end holidays to manage the flooding crisis.
Truck drivers have complained of diesel shortages as many petrol stations have been submerged. At relief centres, workers are struggling to cope with a lack of clean water and unsanitary conditions.
The government has postponed the start of the school year by one week in light of the floods.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) ferried more than 16 tonnes of relief supplies, including rice, water, instant noodles and diapers, to Kota Bharu from the Royal Military Air Force Base in Subang last night.
Flight MH8636 departed with donated goods from various NGOs and members of the public and arrived in Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kota Baru at 3.16am today, MAS said in a statement.
The national carrier mounted the newest aircraft of its fleet, the 100th Boeing 737 series for this service.
MAS group CEO Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: "We have also dedicated belly space in two of our five daily Kota Baru as relief flights on our Boeing 737-800, which gives us roughly four tonnes of cargo capacity daily."
"Our subsidiary, Firefly, has been the centre of the relief efforts, transporting donated goods from the public to affected areas. Due to this overwhelming response from the public, MASkargo is assisting Firefly to deliver these goods to Kota Baru and Kuala Terengganu," he added. – AFP

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