News: Terengganu prepares for worst-case scenario

The Star, 8 Jan 2013

KUALA TERENGGANU: People living in coastal areas such as Kuala Terengganu, Dungun and Marang have been told to evacuate as a tropical storm is expected to make landfall today, bringing with it a third wave of floods.

Terengganu state secretary Datuk Mazlan Ngah said government departments in these areas had moved their personnel out as a precautionary measure.

The Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital here has discharged low-risk patients, moved those in critical condition to the upper floors and put on hold non-emergency surgeries.

“We expect very strong winds to hit the capital as well as other coastal areas,” said Mazlan.

He added that fishermen in the state had been told not to go out to sea and to bring their boats inland.

Mazlan said the tropical storm was expected to bring a deluge lasting until Sunday.

“The downpour will coincide with high tide … we expect Kemaman to be one of the worst-hit areas, along with Dungun, Besut, Hulu Terengganu and Setiu.

“The state government and enforcement agencies have prepared for the worst with sufficient personnel ready to be deployed in any emergency,” he said.

A meeting to discuss preparations was held on Sunday, and Mazlan said that a mobile medical team had been put on standby.

Meanwhile, a state security council spokesman echoed the government’s call for the people to remain calm.

“All the precautions taken are for a worst-case scenario to ensure that we are fully prepared. No mini-tsunami will occur … one of the most outrageous rumours is that 20-foot high tidal waves will hit the state’s capital,” he said.