News: Flood victims refuse to evacuate for fear of house burglaries

The Star, 26 Dec 2012

RANTAU PANJANG: The authorities’ call to evacuate seems to have fallen on deaf ears of some flood victims as they fear their belongings would be stolen if they move out.

A check by Bernama on residents at Kampung Tasik Bakung here found that despite facing waist-high flooding, some are staying put to guard their belongings and livestock, which they claimed were stolen during previous floods when they moved to relief centres.

The villagers are requesting that the Government build an evacuation centre nearer to their village so that they could look after their houses as well.

One of them, Zainab Yaakub, 62, said she preferred to stay at home because she did not want her belongings stolen, which had happened before.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Fire and Rescue director, Azmi Osman who visited several flood-affected areas said the department’s personnel had been persuading the villagers to evacuate for their own safety.

“The affected residents have been persuaded to evacuate as an order has not been issued yet, but if the flood situation worsens, we will move in immediately,” he said.

Kelantan Federal Development Department director, Datuk Makhtar Mustapha regretted the actions of the villagers and hoped they would move to the relief centres provided and register with the Welfare Department.

“This is to enable appropriate assistance such as foodstuff and other necessities to be extended to victims,” he said.

As at this afternoon, 4,062 residents from 1,183 families from seven districts in Kelantan have been evacuated to flood relief centres. – Bernama