Friday, January 2, 2015

Floods in Malaysia (KELANTAN)

Malaysia's worst flooding in a decade has forced nearly a quarter of a million people from their homes, officials said today, with the government coming under renewed fire for its perceived slow response.
The National Security Council (NSC) said that "exceptionally high" water levels had cut off rescuers from relief centres as the death toll rose to 21 across the northeast. Fifteen people died in neighbouring southern Thailand.
Most criticism was directed at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for his absence as the disaster unfolded after being photographed playing golf with President Barack Obama in Hawaii.

Opposition member Tony Pua denounced the government's reluctance to declare a state of emergency and its "complete lack of urgency" in calling a council meeting.
"We are running a headless government with no urgent, cohesive and proactive response to the arising chaos," Pua said in a statement.
Several states in Malaysia as well as parts of southern Thailand are hit by flooding during the annual monsoon but this year the rain has been particularly heavy.
Malaysia's east coasts states are home to many rice fields but officials have not provided an initial estimate of damage.
Najib visited Kelantan again today, one of eight flooded states where the water levels have receded to allow many of the major roads to reopen.
Five southern Thai provinces – Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, Phatthalung and Songkhla – were still flooded. Nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines ferried more than 16 tonnes of relief supplies, including rice, water, instant noodles and diapers, to Kota Bharu from the Royal Military Air Force Base in Subang last night.
Flight MH8636 departed with donated goods from various NGOs and members of the public and arrived in Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kota Baru at 3.16am.
The national carrier mounted the newest aircraft of its fleet, the 100th Boeing 737 series for this service.
Malaysia Airlines' group CEO Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: "We have also dedicated belly space in two of our five daily Kota Bharu as relief flights on our Boeing 737-800, which gives us roughly four tonnes of cargo capacity daily."
"Our subsidiary, Firefly, has been the centre of the relief efforts, transporting donated goods from the public to affected areas. Due to this overwhelming response from the public, MASkargo is assisting Firefly to deliver these goods to Kota Baru and Kuala Terengganu," he added. – Reuters, December 30, 2014.
People ride past a road damaged by flooding at Kuala Krai in Kelantan today. The worst flooding in Malaysia in more than three decades has killed 10 people and forced more than 200,000 from their homes. – Reuters pic, December 30, 2014.

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