Friday, July 25, 2008

Living in fear of floods - The Star

Jul 25, 2008

IT was flooded three times in one month. And residents in Taiping had a tough time dealing with them.

Aulong assemblyman Yew Tian Hoe, who distributed some RM20,000 in food and cash aid, said the first flash floods occurred on June 30.

“I will try to get reimbursement from the state government,” he said while visiting flood-hit areas last Thursday. Present was Pokok Assam assemblyman Yee Seu Kai.

Low-lying areas, through which Sungai Tupai meanders through, were also inundated with waist-deep waters on July 12.

“Three flash floods in one month! It’s just too much,’’ said Yee.

Both Yew and Yee are contemplating buying a four-wheel vehicle to assist them during floods.

During last Thursday’s floods following a two-hour downpour at 1.30pm, more than 2,000 people fled their homes but water receded by midnight at most locations.

Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shaharum said housing schemes built over reclaimed ex-mining pools could have contributed to the situation.

The pools were able to retain excess rainwater in the past but not now, he said.

More than 500 families from Ta-man Pengkalan Makmur and Taman Kaya fled their homes when two adjoining ex-mining pools in the vicinity overflowed.

Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming said rainfall recorded last Thursday was 106mm compared with past daily count of between 46 and 52mm.

Nga claimed that the on-going landfilling work for the Ipoh-Padang Besar electrified double track railway project had blocked water flow.

Nga said the state government had also approved RM100,000 in emergency funds to conduct immediate desilting work at Sungai Tupai.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department, he said, was applying for an additional RM17mil allocation to build bunds and acquire land to facilitate the exercise.

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