Archive for category NaturaL disaster

Despite devastation, defiant Kg Baru Guchil villagers stay put

by Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
January 4, 2015

KUALA KRAI, Jan 4 — In Kg Baru Guchil here, almost every villager we met talked about their “height” — in reference to how high the recent flood waters rose in their homes.

For Kamarulzaman, his “height” was the roof. During the floods last week, the whole of his two-storey brick house was completely submerged leaving his refrigerator stuck on his ceiling support beams once the waters receded.

“I completed this house six months ago … of course I will return here,” the unemployed 55-year-old man said when asked whether his family of six would abandon the house that was covered completely in thick brown mud inside.

Together with his wife, who was wearing a towel as a makeshift tudung and soiled cotton gloves, he was raking water-soaked debris off the stairs when visited by Malay Mail Online yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s like a war zone, Penang volunteers say of flood-hit Kelantan

by Himanshu Bhatt
The Malaysian Insider
4 January 2015

Scenes of devastation in flood-ravaged Kelantan have left Penangites who travelled there with aid convoys in shock and disbelief at the scale of the disaster.

Likening what they saw to a war zone, the volunteers said Malaysians needed to do more to help their fellow citizens rebuild their lives.

State executive councillor Danny Law Heng Kiang said the aftermath of the floods were worse than that of the tsunami, which hit Kedah and Penang 10 years ago in December 2004.

“I consider the effects of these floods on our country to be worse than that of the tsunami,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“Following the tsunami, which only hit the shoreline, clearing and rebuilding began within three days,” he said.

“But two weeks after these floods started, it is a still a living nightmare for hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asking for urgent meeting with Najib before Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to present four-point proposal on the floods catastrophe for Cabinet adoption

I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, before Wednesday with a four-point proposal for adoption by the Cabinet with regard to the floods catastrophe which had ravaged nine states in the past two weeks.

It would appear that the Cabinet had not met since Dec. 17, as the two  previous Wednedays had fallen on Christmas eve on Dec. 24 and New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31.

Although both these dates are not public holidays in Malaysia, it is the tradition that the Cabinet would not meet on these two dates as most Ministers would be overseas on vacations.

I believe that the Cabinet had also not met on Dec. 24 and 31 last year, as there had been no reports about Cabinet meetings on these two dates, which would be most unusual and extraordinary, as the country’s worst floods in decades had spanned both these dates.

However, I confess I am not privy to information as to whether the Cabinet had met on Dec. 24 and 31, and I am prepared to stand corrected if I am proved wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

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I have abandoned the idea of discussing and persuading the two MCA Ministers to support in Cabinet a declaration of emergency over floods catastrophe as MCA National Vice President has publicly declared opposition to emergency declaration yesterday

I have abandoned the idea of discussing and persuading the two MCA Ministers to support in Cabinet on Wednesday a declaration of emergency over floods catastrophe as the MCA National Vice President, Datuk Hou Kok Chung has publicly declared opposition to an emergency declaration in Kota Bharu yesterday.

Hou claims that there is no need for an emergency, especially as the worst of the floods catastrophe is over.

Hou and the MCA Ministers and leadership are entitled to their views, but it is most disappointing that there are political leaders, including Ministerial-level politicians, who cannot think outside the box, and are tied down to obsolete thinking and attitudes which undermine their effectiveness as leaders capable of helping the people to save lives and minimize losses to property especially in a disaster like the worst floods catastrophe in recent decades which caused the evacuation of a quarter of million people to the various relief centres or easily a total of a million people to include all who had not gone to the relief centres as well as suffering financial or economic losses from the floods

There should not only be a state of emergency for the floods catastrophe in the states affected, not only during the times when the rise of the floods water were fiercest, but equally important, after the waters have receded in order to facilitate the resolution of the many huge post-flood challenges and dangers, viz:

Read the rest of this entry »


As taps stay dry, Kuala Krai struggles to rebuild after flood

By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
January 4, 2015

KUALA KRAI, Jan 4 — The sun has risen over Kuala Krai, but the Kelantan town 64 km south of Kota Baru has yet to stir from the worst flood in recent history last week.

The waters have receded but the 20,000 or so people who live there are struggling to pick up their lives without running water to wash away the mud that has invaded their homes and shops.

The main road through the town,usually busy with traffic between Gua Musang and Kota Baru, remains quiet. Most shops are closed and the few that are open are still being cleaned.

Until water supply is restored life appears to have paused for most of the town folk..

“I have no idea when I can even start cleaning up. I really cannot do a single thing until the water supply returns,” Alias a 26 year old told Malay Mail Online. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raub MP says Najib is finished

FMT Reporters | January 3, 2015

Ariff Sabri says the devastation caused by the floods in Kuala Krai show the full extent of the “incompetence” of our PM and his government.

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Ariff Sabri has said in no uncertain terms that Prime Minister Najib Razak had no political future left to speak of, the devastating floods the country has suffered having more or less shown the people the full extent of his incompetence and that of his administration.

In his latest blog entry, the MP for Raub said, “To me, Najib has no more future. The fate of UMNO and his own is already sealed by the next GE.”

He argued that Najib’s handling of the floods especially in Kelantan, the worst hit state, left much to be desired, adding, “Kuala Krai is indeed a watershed which showed the government’s incompetence in handling a national disaster.

Accusing Najib of taking things too lightly, Ariff said in a cynical tone, “Najib and his gang appear to think, they can respond to the flood with a jamboree mentality complete with his minions pointing to the water and saying or mocking us – look Tonto – this is water.”

He also put forth a “nagging” question: “With such extent and level of devastation that took place in many areas of Kelantan, why wasn’t a state of emergency declared?” Read the rest of this entry »

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In Temerloh, villagers ‘not on the list’ appeal to NGOs for supplies as village chiefs cherry pick recipients

The Malay Mail Online
January 3, 2015

Temerloh Jan 3 – Even as Malaysians from all walks of life donated massive amounts of food and daily essentials to flood victims, some in Temerloh are claiming they have not received any as village chiefs cherry picked recipients.

While authorities handling the rescue and aid distribution operations in Temerloh said they have enough resources to send supplies to evacuees as well as those trapped in their houses, hiccups at the village level are preventing some families from receiving them.

Housewife Hashimah Abdul Halim from Kampung Lubuk Kawah said ample supplies had been given to the village chief to be distributed but her family as well as many others did not receive any as their names were “not on the list”.

“Thank god we have enough supplies as aid was sent in about three times since the flooding began.

“But most of the time they were from NGOs. The government only sent once and they only gave us one kilo of rice,” she told Malay Mail Online outside her home yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to declare state of emergency to mobilise the 150,000-strong armed forces to deal with worsening flood situation in some states and humongous post-flood challenges in others

It is still not too late for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to declare a state of emergency in the flood-stricken states.

A state of emergency in the flood-stricken states will make it easier and faster to mobilise all federal, state and local resources to deal firstly, with the worst flood disaster in recent decades (for some states, the flood situation could worsen in coming days); and secondly, the post-flood situation in states where although the worst flood situation are over with the receding of flood waters, new problems are beginning with the humongous and mind-blogging scale and scope of the post-flood challenges and dangers.

The Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob has said that Kelantan will need at least six months to fully recover from the devastation of the worst floods that hit the state in the past few weeks.

Six months to recover from the devastation of the floods catastrophe is too long and will impose great problems and grave burdens on the flood victims in Kelantan.

Whether for Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak or any state for that matter, the period for the full recovery from the devastation of the floods catastrophe should be cut down from “at least six months” to two months, and this is why a state of emergency for the flood-stricken states should declared, to deal firstly with the floods disaster management, mitigation and relief during the floods catastrophe, and secondly, the post-flood challenges and dangers.

In fact, a state of emergency should be a normal part of the Standard Operating Procedure to deal with a major floods disaster. Read the rest of this entry »

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Weather Worries Remain in Hunt for AirAsia Plane

By EILEEN NG and ROBIN McDOWELL Associated Press
ABC News
Jan 1, 2015

SURABAYA, Indonesia —

More ships arrived Friday with sensitive equipment to search for the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501 and the more than 150 people still missing since it crashed five days ago.

Rear Marshal Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, said the search would be stepped up as long as the weather allowed.

“We will focus on underwater detection,” said Soelistyo, adding ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. had been on the scene from before dawn Friday to try to pinpoint the wreckage and the all-important black boxes? the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

The Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday with 162 people on board. Nine bodies have been recovered so far.

Nine planes, many with metal detectors, were also scouring a 13,500 square kilometer (8,380 square mile) area off Pangkalan Bun, the closest town on Borneo island to the search area. Two Japanese ships with three helicopters are on their way to the area, Soelistyo said. Read the rest of this entry »


Tweets on “Save Kuala Krai Convoy Mission” (1.1.2015)

1.Visit to Kuala Krai today (1.1.2015), esp desolate town with Kuala Krai MP Dr. Mohd Hatta after ravages of flood catastrophe, unforgettable.

2. Woes grievances unhappiness of people of Kuala Krai (from “horse’s mouth” so to say) over flood catastrophe eloquent/moving – being totally abandoned!

3. Met flood victims – every Malay Chinese Indian in Kuala Krai – from all races who have one common universal grouse: they need help and urgently.

4. Today full mobilisation by DAP States MPs SAs activists for relief of Kuala Krai and other flood-ravaged areas like Mentakab Gua Musang Kota Bharu.

5. Three containers of over 3,000 cartons of essential supplies distributed in Kuala Krai – 2 from Penang 1 from Johor. Also some 60 FWDs of reliefs Read the rest of this entry »


Visit to Kuala Krai 1.1.15


Tweet on visit to Kuala Krai, 1/1/2015

Kuala Krai is terrible sight 2behold after worst floods in history. Suggest all Ministers be assigned there 4 a week 2become better leaders.

PM recalled Ministers 2return from vacations abroad 2help flood victims. Wld do world of good if they r assigned various parts of KK 4week.

All with one common task – how 2help flood victims in kampongs or areas they r assigned to 4a week. They will be doing useful work 4 once.

But how many Ministers complied w PM’s directive 2return from their overseas vacation? Names of Ministers who return, dates n those x back?

Imagine put Liow TL in Kuala Krai town or Muhyiddin in Manek Urai for 24 hrs. Will they survive or run helter-skelter in less than 24 hrs?

LiowTL in KK town or Muhyiddin in Manek Urai for 24 hrs is unthinkable, what about their being there for a week to serve flood victims?

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Let RCI into Floods Disaster Management Preparedness inquire whether there had been a “complete breakdown” or what extent of breakdown of the National Security Council chain of command and communications in the current worst floods disaster in decades

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that there had been a “complete collapse” of the National Security Council (NSC) flood disaster response.

The NSC secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab clarified that it was the Kelantan district office that collapsed as the government staff became flood victims themselves, claiming that the district offices in neighbouring Pahang and Terengganu could still function as those states were not as badly hit.

I do not envy Thajudeen as he spoke the truth but was being pilloried and vilified by UMNO/Barisan Nasional political leaders including his superiors, resulting in having to come out with a denial which, on scrutiny, is actually confirmation of the collapse of the NSC chain of command and communications showing deplorable flood disaster management preparedness in the main theatre of the worst floods disaster in the first five days from Dec. 23 to 27.

Thajuddin should know that there is no such thing as “the Kelantan district office that collapsed” as there are 10 districts in Kelantan, out of which only one district, Bachok was not ravaged by floods. Read the rest of this entry »


Insurance regulator confirms emergency declaration won’t affect payout for floods

Malay Mail Online
December 31, 2014 04:41 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Despite Putrajaya’s argument, Malaysia’s insurance regulator has confirmed insurance firms will not be absolved of liability in paying out compensation for flood claims filed if a state of emergency were declared.

The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam) said its member companies must process the claims so long as flood is an “insured peril”.

While standard motor and fire insurance policies exclude coverage against losses caused by natural catastrophes, PIAM said that the option to cover disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons, cover for flood-related loss or damage, can be purchased as an extension to the policies.

“All policyholders, both businesses and individuals, located at the flood-stricken areas are therefore advised to check their fire and motor policies to determine whether they are covered for loss or damage resulting from the floods,” Piam, which is made up of 29 insurance firms, said in a statement emailed today.

“Piam would like to advise the public to review their insurance policies with their insurers or insurance agents to establish if the cover provided is sufficient to mitigate any serious financial impact due to flood losses and damages,” it said. Read the rest of this entry »


In Kelantan floods, unsung heroes emerge

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
31 December 2014

The flood that engulfed several areas in Kelantan the past week has left a trail of destruction and misery, but harrowing reports of altruism and bravery have also emerged as ordinary Malaysians step up to the task of helping out their fellow men.

Teacher Muhammad Apandi Hashim, 46, spent the first night of the floods in his 3.5m boat, manoeuvring through electric poles in the dark through the rushing water to rescue countless villagers in Tanah Merah who were beyond the reach of official rescue teams.

The first pair he rescued that Wednesday evening were his neighbour’s elderly parents, who were stranded in a village about an hour away from his house.

“I was all prepared to evacuate my house with my family, when my neighbour asked me if I could pick up his parents with my boat. When people ask for help like that, how can you refuse?” he told The Malaysian Insider when met at his house in Kampung Cherang Lali, Tanah Merah, yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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A wretched, horrendous year, with little cheer

31 December 2014

2014 has been a wretched and horrendous year for Malaysia, with very little spots of sunny cheer for Malaysians. All 52 weeks have seen us angry and sad – not quite the happy Malaysia Truly Asia that we portray in tourism advertisements.

Grief has been Malaysia’s main point of unity – from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8 to flight MH17 that was shot out of the sky on July 17 to the tragic crash of AirAsia Bhd Indonesian affiliate’s flight QZ8501 on December 28, in the last days of the year.

Three commercial plane crashes linked to Malaysia in just a year – what are the chances of that?

And while that dominated the headlines, there has been other events that added to Malaysia’s grief. Statistics showed that 189 people died of dengue so far this year, up from 95 in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kuala Krai devastated by floods

– The Malaysian Insider/Bernama
31 December 2014

Like a place attacked by a giant bird or the ancient ‘garuda’. This is the description of the severe destruction caused by the floods in several villages in the district of Kuala Krai.

It also gives a reminder of the tsunami tragedy that occurred in 2004 when one looks at the damage suffered by the villagers.

In Sungai Durian, several houses totally collapsed after the the village was submerged by the floods on December 23 and forced the residents to seek shelter at evacuation centres.

Rosmaria Ghazali, 34, could only cry when seeing her home submerged up to the roof, her house and furniture totally ruined. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Najib only realised that the floods disaster is a “major catastrophe” on the fourth day his return from Hawaii and why he had not visited the two worst-hit areas of Gua Musang and Kuala Krai last Saturday?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said after his visit to Gua Musang and Kuala Krai yesterday that the floods disaster is a “disaster” or even “major catastrophe”, describing Gua Musang and Kuala Krai as two of the worst-hit districts in Kelantan.

I have been brooding over the Prime Minister’s comments since reading them on online news portals yesterday evening, and the question which kept returning to my mind was why the Prime Minister had not visited the two worst-hit flood-damaged areas when he rushed back from Hawaii last Saturday on 27th December.

Was the Prime Minister misled by the National Security Council (NSC), which gave the Prime Minister a special briefing on the floods situation when Najib arrived at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu at 1.40 pm last Saturday?

I would imagine that the Prime Minister would have wanted to visit the worst-hit flood-damaged areas on his immediate return from Hawaii.

Did the NSC withhold the information from the Prime Minister that Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were the two worst-hit areas, or did the Prime Minister decide on his own not to visit the two worst-hit areas of Gua Musang and Kuala Krai to bring immediate reliefs and comfort to the stranded people in Gua Musang and Kuala Krai?

Or was the NSC at the time unaware that Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were the two worst-hit flood areas, as the NSC in its statement yesterday admitted that there was a “complete collapse” of its chain of command and communications at the district level in Kelantan and Terengganu when the NSC “front-liners”, the village headmen and district officers, fell victim to the floods? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysians must stay strong, hopeful and confident despite a year of great adversities with three air disasters, worst floods disaster in decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism to build a common, united, moderate and prosperous future for all Malaysians

2015 New Year Message

    It is so easy to give way to despair at the tides of adversity Malaysians have to go through in 2014 and to write off the future for Malaysia – the unprecedented three air disasters in a year (MH370, MH17 and QZ8501) which no other country had ever had to experience, the worst floods disaster in recent decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism putting to the ultimate test the Merdeka and Malaysia national compacts of 1957 and 1963 to be an oasis of multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural harmony, tolerance and co-existence in an increasingly troubled and fractious world.

    Every cloud has a silver lining and this holds true for the adversities Malaysians had to undergo in 2014 – the air disasters and the worst floods disaster in decades galvanizing Malaysians to stand in sympathy, support and solidarity with the victims and the aggrieved and the rise of moderates, best exemplified by the Open Letter by 25 Eminent Malays to the Prime Minister and the snowballing of support by ordinary moderate Malaysians regardless of race, religion, politics or region to save Malaysia from the bigots and extremists.

    Malaysians must stay strong, hopeful and confident despite a year of great adversities with three air disasters, the worst floods disaster in decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism to build a common, united, moderate and prosperous future for all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


10 questions about the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 tragedy

By Laura Smith-Spark and Ashley Fantz, CNN
December 30, 2014

(CNN) — The discovery of debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 means investigators have taken a big step toward answering the questions haunting the families of those aboard the doomed plane. What are the key questions, and what might come next?

What caused the plane to crash?

It’s the million-dollar question. And as yet, nobody knows. Ahead lies a possibly months-long investigation into what happened after the Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control early Sunday.

Shortly beforehand, the pilot requested permission to turn and climb to a higher altitude because of bad weather, according to Indonesian officials.

Some experts have said the aircraft might have experienced an aerodynamic stall because of a lack of speed or from flying at too sharp an angle to get enough lift.

Analysts have also said that the pilots might not have been getting information from onboard systems about the plane’s position or that rain or hail from thunderstorms in the area could have damaged the engines.

The key to understanding what happened is likely to be contained in the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, commonly known as black boxes.

“Until we get the black boxes, we won’t know what’s going on with the engines,” Bill Savage, a former pilot with 30 years of experience, told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »


The flood woes in Kelantan

– Johan James
The Malaysian Insider
28 December 2014

Almost every year, Kelantan and a few other east coast states are flooded due to the heavy monsoon rain towards the end of the year. But this time around, Kelantan and the other east coast states were hit by major floods since year 2004.

Is this a never ending curse for these states, especially Kelantan? Who are supposed to be blamed for this annual mishap suffered by the Kelantanese? Central government? State government? Or the wrongdoings of the locals in Kelantan? Read the rest of this entry »