Residents panic over first flash floods in Rembau

Residents panic over first flash floods in Rembau
According to a statement by the Rembau District Disaster Management Committee Secretariat, the number of flood victims in the district rose to 37 as at 8.40pm Monday compared with 21 earlier. - Filepic
SEREMBAN: Several low-lying areas in Pedas were inundated by flash floods after heavy rain for more than two hours from 4am this morning.

A Bernama check found among the affected areas were Kampung Air Panas, Kampung Pedah Tengah, Kampung Batu 2, Kampung Batu 3, Kampung Pedas Hilir, Kampung Mincing Baru and Kampung Sungai Ibor.

Several houses in the villages were also inundated under 0.6 metre to 0.9 metres of water while the Sekolah Kebangsaan Pedas football field was also inundated.

A flood victim in Kampung Air Panas, Muhammad Shafiq Abu Bakar, 31, said he and his wife, Nur Baizura Md Nor, 32, realised that water was rising at their house at 4.30am.

"Flood water rose swiftly and I failed to save my two cars. In fact, saucers and cups stored under my house were also swept away by swift currents. My wife and I only managed to escape to safety with our three children. As far as I know, this is the biggest flood since we stayed here," he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, a private sector officer at the KL International Airport (KLIA) Mohd Azizi Saadin, 44, of Kampung Pedas Tengah could not go to work today because the bridge connecting his house to the main road was inundated.

Nevertheless, flood waters started to subside at about 10am, he said.
Another victim, a civil servant working in Seremban, Noriah Yahya, 59, of Kampung Batu 3, said she had also faced the same predicament as Mohd Aziz.

According to a statement by the Rembau District Disaster Management Committee Secretariat, the number of flood victims in the district rose to 37 as at 8.40pm Monday compared with 21 earlier.

The victims were from six families, comprising 12 adults (men), 15 women, eight children and two babies, compared to three families who moved to the flood relief centre at the Sungai Timum Community Hall in Rembau - opened at 12 noon - as of 4.30pm Monday evening.

"Roads in the district are all open to traffic," said the secretariat.

Problems of clogged drainage systems and rivers full of garbage are believed to be the main cause of flash floods in several locations in the state.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said local authorities and the related agencies must maintain the drainage systems well.

"The floods in Negeri Sembilan are not the same as other states, many drains are clogged and garbage are held up at bridges. That is why flash floods occur, but they quickly subside," he told reporters after opening the Kibing Group (M) Sdn Bhd factory here, Monday.

He said, prior to this, floods in Bahau were caused by farming at drainage areas, in Rembau it was caused by blocked tributaries and garbage caught at bridges.

"We will scrutinize this matter. I will ask the agencies and departments concerned to consistently carry out maintenance work. This must be done fast to prevent flash floods from recurring," he said.

Meanwhile, Kota State Assemblyman Datuk Awaludin Said told Bernama the flash floods this morning was the first in 40 years for Kampung Batu, Rembau near here.

He had told the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) to list down the houses inundated by the floods.

"The state government will provide basic needs such as rice and sugar to the affected residents," he said.

A total 200 villagers in Kampung Batu and Kampung Pulau, Rembau were affected by the floods.

Meanwhile, in Rembau, Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin said aid to the 200 victims from 40 houses in the two villages would be handed over to them tomorrow at the latest.

"My office and the Social Welfare Department will give them the necessary aid," said Khairy who is also Youth and Sports Minister after visiting flood victims in Kampung Batu here Monday.

Asked if there was a proposal to build a flood mitigation bund in Kampung Batu, which was flooded for the first time in its history, Khairy said a decision would be made after the Drainage and Irrigation Department and other agencies had concluded their investigations.