Death toll rises to four, almost 50,000 evacuated as floods worsen

KUALA LUMPUR: The death toll has doubled to four and two more people are feared to have drowned as the flood situation in Kedah and Perlis continued to worsen this evening, with almost 50,000 moved to relief centres.

However, the situation in Kelantan has improved tremendously, with all the 475 evacuees having returned home by this afternoon and the sun shining brightly for most of the day.

Almost 5,000 people were moved to relief centres in Kedah today, taking the total number of evacuees in the state to 33,413 this evening.

The bodies of two girls who fell into an irrigation canal in Kedah yesterday were recovered this afternoon, raising the death toll to four in the state. Meanwhile, two children are feared drowned after they fell into an irrigation canal.

Close to 2,000 people were evacuated in Perlis today, raising the number of evacuees in the state to 15,027 by the evening.

In Kedah, the 33,413 evacuees, up from 28,473 this morning, are at relief centres in the districts of Kubang Pasu (15,672), Kota Setar (12,960), Padang Terap (2,737), Pokok Sena (1,868) and Pendang (176).

While the number of evacuees in Kubang Pasu, Kota Setar and Pendang have gone up, 482 of those in Padang Terap have been allowed to return to their homes after the floods there receded.

A spokesman of the National Security Council operations room said that up to 4pm, 105 relief centres had been opened, with 46 of them in Kubang Pasu, 35 in Padang Terap, 15 in Kota Setar, eight in Pokok Sena and one in Pendang.

The two children feared drowned in an irrigation canal in Tanjung Bendahara in Alor Setar have been identified as Nur Irshah Rosli, nine, and Awwad Hakimi Rudaini, seven.

Kota Setar police chief ACP Abdul Ghafar Rajab said they fell into the canal while playing in a flooded padi field with several other children who saw them being sucked into a deep hole.

The police and fire and rescue personnel have launched a search for the two children. Alor Setar MP and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung visited the family and extended his condolences.

The bodies of Sharifah Syukor, eight, and her elder sister, Siti Nadia, 13, who fell into a canal in Kampung Telaga Mas in Pokok Sena yesterday, were recovered today.

They were riding pillion on a motorcycle ridden by a friend, Intan Malik, 14, when the machine crashed into the canal. Intan managed to cling onto a branch of a tree and was rescued by villagers.

The situation in Kota Setar was worsening. A check by Bernama showed that the floodwaters were rising although the rain had stopped.

Several main roads in Alor Setar were flooded and this resulted in traffic congestion while several housing areas also faced disruption in water and electricity supply.

More roads in Kota Setar, Kubang Pasu and Pokok Sena had to be closed while a number in Padang Terap have become passable to traffic.

The flooded roads are:
1. Jalan Pantai Johor – Gunung Keriang
2. Jalan Kuala Sungai – Sungai Baru
3. Jalan Alor Setar – Kepala Batas
4. Jalan Kepala Batas – Bukit Pinang
5. Jalan Hutan Kampung – Kepala Batas
6. Darulaman Highway (several stretches)
7. Jalan Alor Setar - Kangar
8. Jalan Alor Mengkudu - Tok Keling
9. Jalan Titi Besi - Kg Pasir
10. Jalan Langgar - Pendang
11. Jalan Pantai Johor - Gunung Keriang
12. Jalan Gunung Keriang - Alor Janggus

1. Jalan Lengkuas – Derang
2. Jalan Derang – Batu 11 Pokok Sena
3. Jalan Bukit Payong - Kg Cina
4. Jalan Bukit Tembaga - Kuala Pai - Lembah Arang

1. Jalan Tanah Merah – Wang Tepus
2. Jalan Kepala Batas – Kemunting
3. Jalan Jitra – Sungai Korok
4. Jalan Tunjang – Teluk Malek
5. Jalan Teluk Malek – Kampung Naga
6. Jalan Jitra – Bukit Wang
7. Jalan Napoh – Wang Tepus
8. Jalan Changlun – Kodiang
9. Km10.2 to Km28 of North-South Expressway
10. Jalan Jitra - Kelubi
11. Jalan Jitra - Alor Rambai - Kepala Batu

1. Jalan Kampung Kubu – Simpang Nai Teh
2. Simpang Nai Teh – Kampung Tengah
3. Jalan Masjid Kuala Nerang – Kampung Rambutan

In Perlis, the number of evacuees has risen to 15,027, up from the 13,723 this morning.  

A spokesman of the State Welfare Department flood operations room said most of the evacuees today were from the south of Kangar. The floods in northern Perlis were receding, and 1,346 evacuees were allowed to return to their homes.

A check by Bernama in Kangar revealed that business had come to a standstill as flooded shops remained closed.

Perlis Education Department Director Mansor Lat said 86 of the 103 schools in the state were closed due to floods or having been turned into relief centres.

Today, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil visited Sekolah Kebangsaan Sena near Kangar which had been turned into a relief centre. — Bernama
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