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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

PM: New homes for Kuala Krai flood victims

Najib Razak says action must be taken to build a temporary home for those who had lost their homes to the floods.
najib_rumah_300KOTA BARU: Prime Minister Najib Razak has described the floods in Kelantan as a major disaster which has brought massive destruction.
Najib, who saw the aftermath of the floods in Gua Musang and Kuala Krai today, said the two districts concerned were the worst hit areas this time.
“They (residents) consider the disaster not as a flood phenomenon but a major catastrophe because the water level rose so high and rapidly to the extent that many houses were submerged,” he said at a press conference at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pengkalan Chepa, here today.
Also accompanying the Prime Minister during the visit was International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, who is also chairman of the Kelantan Flood Disaster Committee.
Saying he was informed that hundreds of houses were destroyed by the floods leaving the residents homeless, he added, “I see so much destruction and it is very depressing and so sad.”
He also explained that the government would take several measures to assist flood victims in the Gua Musang and Kuala Krai districts and would make an evaluation of every house that was destroyed or damaged due to the floods as soon as possible.
“The action that must be taken is to build a temporary home for the victims who had lost their homes to the floods,” he said.
Najib said the government would build permanent homes for the flood victims in Kuala Krai in an area that was safer from the floods.
However, the federal government would discuss with the Kelantan state government as the land to be turned into the new settlement area was under the jurisdiction of the state government.
The Prime Minister said construction of houses on river land reserves could not be allowed because of the high risk of being affected by the floods once again.
Asked whether the rampant opening of land on hill slopes in the two districts was the main factor for the floods, Najib did not rule out the possibility of human negligence being a contributing factor to the disaster.
“Rampant opening of land especially for logging has an effect on the environment because there is no natural retention to stop the water from flowing directly to the river swiftly,” he said.
The numerous logs floating in the river also had an effect when they became stuck under the bridges blocking the water from flowing and thus spilling over to the surrounding areas resulting in major floods.

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