Floods hit Johor, more than 300 people evacuated

Flash floods hit Mersing, Labis, and Kota Tinggi on Jan 1.
Flash floods hit Mersing, Labis, and Kota Tinggi on Jan 1.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The number of flood victims in Johor has risen to 371 people as at Tuesday (Jan 2) morning, said the authorities, with most of those affected from the Mersing district.

State Health, Environment, Education and Information committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said that 95 families had been evacuated from their homes as at 6am on Tuesday.

“Mersing is currently the worst hit with 337 people seeking shelter at seven flood relief centres,” said Datuk Ayub. Another 34 flood evacuees are at relief centres in the Kota Tinggi district.

Meanwhile three primary schools in the Kluang district were affected by rising floodwaters. 

Roads leading to two schools - Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang Mutiara and Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Sedohok - were cut off by the floods on Tuesday morning, while Sekolah Kebangsaan Punan was completely shut down, said Mr Ayub.

The first day of the New Year brought flash floods to three districts in Johor, forcing more than 200 people to seek shelter at relief centres.

Heavy downpour since late Sunday evening caused floods to hit Labis, Kota Tinggi and Mersing on Monday . 

Meanwhile, Mersing Works Department on its Facebook page, said that part of Jalan Jemaluang-Mersing (FT003 section 130-129 in front of SMK Anjung Batu) was flooded and can only be used by heavy vehicles.

The department urged other vehicle users to use alternative routes such as Jalan Jemaluang/Kota Tinggi-Jalan Sri Pantai-Jalan Sekakap to Mersing town.

Floods also affected Malaysia's eastern state of Pahang, forcing 11 schools to remain closed on Tuesday, the first day of the new school year. 

Pahang acting director of education Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said these schools were located in the districts of Kuantan, Pekan and Jerantut, and were closed because floodwaters had inundated their grounds or cut off access roads leading to them. 

“In Kuantan alone, nine schools, with over 1,000 students and 140 teachers, were unable to begin the new school year today,” said Dr Tajuddin. He said the schools would open after the floodwaters receded and that parents would be kept informed of developments.