Ajil assemblyman nearly swept away during flood aid mission

HULU TERENGGANU, Feb 27 — Ajil assemblyman Maliaman Kassim endured a harrowing experience when the lorry he was in was carried away by floodwaters close to Sungai Kampung Lebak near here while on an aid mission today.

He was with 13 members of the Terengganu Civil Defence Force when strong currents swept the lorry away. The party was subsequently rescued by a Civil Defence Force team in a boat 15 minutes later.

Maliaman apologised to flood victims in Hulu Berang as all the food aid, including rice, sardine cans and clothing destined for them were lost in the 2.15 pm incident but he promised to arrange assistance as soon as possible.

He also informed Bernama this evening that hundreds of flood victims from the Felcra Gunung Menerong resettlement project near Ajil in Hulu Terengganu who sought refuge in a nearby hilly area after their houses were flooded have been safely rescued.

Mohd Naqiuddin Hakimi Khairul Anuar, 31, a family member of one of the flood victims, said that he managed to contact his sister, Fazeera Izyanie, 29, at around 6 pm and was informed that residents from Kampung Felda Tersat had banded together and brought boats to ferry those trapped in the area.

The plight of the trapped victims became known after photos and videos showing hundreds of them escaping the floods went viral this morning. Residents in other areas of Hulu Terengganu were also not spared, with many of them forced to evacuate in a hurry as floodwaters rose rapidly.

Meanwhile, in KELANTAN, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department’s rescue operation was hampered when 300 residents from three villages – Kampung Pengkalan Pauh, Daram Buaya and Kampung Wakaf Bunut – all in Pasir Puteh, refused to be evacuated to relief centres.

Pasir Puteh Fire and Rescue Dept chief Azhar Elmi Mustofar said the villagers feared that their houses would be broken into and did not believe that the floods would reach their homes.

Also, 204 Jeli Polytechnic students reported in at their campus in Jeli for the 2021/2022 academic session today despite flooding in the state since Thursday, Jeli Polytechnic director Ulaimi Yahya said.

To prevent the possibility of spreading COVID-19, the polytechnic implemented a drive-through process for registration, which went smoothly despite the lack of staff due to floods, after which the students were immediately sent to their designated rooms. Parents were only allowed to help with bringing down their children’s luggage and belongings from their vehicles.

Meanwhile in Pasir Mas, the Rantau Panjang Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex (ICQS) has been closed due to floods that hit the town and nearby areas since yesterday, Kelantan Immigration Department director Azhar Ab Hamid said.

He asked that all commercial vehicles use alternative routes to the Bukit Bunga ICQS in Tanah Merah, which was still open as usual.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency