News: Villagers in Sabak get ready to face floods

The Star, 8 Jan 2013

KOTA BARU: Residents living in Kampung Chabang Empat at Sabak, Pengkalan Chepa here, which is usually waterlogged after a downpour or high tide, are bracing for the worst effects of the impending tropical storm.

The Meteorological Department’s prediction that the sea level is expected to be abnormally higher is adding to their anxieties.

Although a 1km long wave breaker had been built at the Sungai Raja Gali estuary, more than 1,000 villagers who live in the area are still at risk from floods.

“Long after the rains stop, our place remains flooded. It takes many days or weeks for the water to recede,” said 33-year-old Nawi Che Masri, adding that the wave breaker played a vital role in preventing high waves from destroying their houses.

Fisherman Nik Nikmat Nik Salam, 57, said stagnant floodwater was a huge problem, adding that plank ramps were needed to connect the houses to dry land.

Nik Nikmat said villagers were preparing for the storm by moving their vehicles and valuables to higher ground and building higher plank gangways in the village.

State National Security Council secretary Mohamad Rosle Mamat said search and rescue agencies had been told to be on alert.

They are on standby to evacuate residents living in Pasir Puteh, Bachok and Tumpat if floodwaters rise to danger levels.

“We have also reminded the district health departments in Pasir Puteh and Tumpat to evacuate patients from hospitals which are situated close to the coast,” he said.

He also advised those living in coastal areas to monitor the news and be ready to be evacuated.