Thousands leave homes as Johor braces for more rain

by Shannon Teoh | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Unrelenting rain in Johor has forced thousands from their homes, cutting off Segamat and threatening other towns, raising fears of a repeat of floods six years which claimed six lives and inflicted more than RM1 billion in economic losses.

Nearly 30,000 people have been evacuated so far, with 16 villages in Segamat inundated by as much as one metre of water. Two deaths have been reported so far.

According to locals in the Segamat area, the situation appears worse than the floods that hit Johor in December 2006 and January 2007.

The Meteorological Department is predicting more rain for the rest of the week.

Motorists had to leave their vehicles as three rivers in Johor burst their banks and five more are being monitored by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage.

Rescue workers are only able to access Segamat by boat as all three main roads out of the town have been closed off by police.

Police have closed off several roads to traffic including the main trunk between the towns of Labis and Segamat.

Public transport has also been disrupted with Keretapi Tanah Melayu cancelling railway services that run through Johor.

The 2006/7 flood saw at least six deaths and over 60,000 evacuated as the southern state experienced water and electricity cuts, an increase of water-borne disease as well as looting after floodwaters receded, costing the government RM1.5 billion.

Neighbouring Singapore was also flooded then, and today the eastern part of the island republic was reported to have experienced flash floods.

A Singapore Straits Times reader said the rain had caused a partially constructed bridge in the Punggol area to collapse.

Although the area around Changi Airport was flooded, it has not resulted in cancelled flights.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said that the worst-hit areas are Segamat, Johor Baru and Kluang.

The heavy rain also affected turnout in yesterday’s Tenang by-election, with only two-thirds of registered voters casting their vote.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Tuesday, 1 February 2011 - 7:53 am

    Is God punishing the Johoreans with floods for voting in unmo in Labis? Just as God punished the Egyptians with plagues for not allowing Moses’s people to go? Just jokingh lah….

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 1 February 2011 - 10:21 am

    God is not punishing Johoreans with floods,instead God is giving them free water cause water tariff in Johor is the highest according to report sent to god via our famous astronaut.Ya the captcha is 1986,your friend?

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