Malaysia

Despite preparations, floods cause havoc in Pahang – Bernama

December 05, 2013
Latest Update: December 05, 2013 11:39 am

Food stockpile at a flood relief centre in Kuantan. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, December 5, 2013.Food stockpile at a flood relief centre in Kuantan. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, December 5, 2013.Natural disasters such as floods, landslides and tsunami are not predictable.

In developed countries, preparations are made earlier to minimise loss of lives and property.

The ongoing flood in Pahang has almost crippled the whole of Kuantan yesterday, and this is not something new. It has had happened before and with many ramifications.

The media reported that the relevant agencies were prepared for the floods.

On November 15, state secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail said the Pahang government was ready to face the flood, which was expected at the end of November.

According to him, 579 evacuation centres were identified, and 60% of these were schools. Basic necessities such as food would be stored in 73 centres from November 18, which amounted to RM1.2 million.

"Six thousand volunteers from 14 departments and agencies are involved directly to render assistance to the flood victims," said Safian.

Despite this, the first day of the flood in Kuantan caused utter chaos, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter capitalised on this situation with pictures and commentaries..

The media in the meantime could not even access updates from the relevant sources to relay to the masses.

Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob admitted that there were weaknesses and shortcomings on the first day of the flood.

He noted that the flood operation crew were in a fix themselves because their homes were also hit hard.

Last night, Kuantan was like a water theme park. It had no power and water supply, and evacuation centres where the victims were sheltered lacked basic facilities and food.

"The Welfare department did not have sufficient stock and had to buy from the shops before sending them to the centres, and the centres were not accessible by road," he explained.

Why didn't the Welfare department stock enough food?

Adnan replied: "The Audit department said the food that the Welfare department had stocked was excessive, so that was why it did not keep more. That is the crux of the matter".

Meanwhile, the body of Mohamed Alif Khalid, 21, who was feared drowned after he went fishing at Sungai Kampung Sepial in Kuala Tembeling, Jerantut, Pahang, has been found.

Two others were reported missing. They are Pekan Umno division committee member Jamal Ali, in his 40's, and his teenage son known as Megat, who went missing after they fell into the flood waters in Sungai Isap village last night. - Bernama, December 5, 2013.