KANGAR (Perlis) • Continuous rain in the northern Malaysian states of Perlis and Kedah since Thursday has brought floods that have displaced nearly 3,000 people.
According to The Star, 1,672 people in Perlis had been evacuated by yesterday morning to relief centres in Padang Besar, Kangar and Arau, after several areas were submerged in knee-deep waters.
Residents in Tebing Tinggi blamed a delayed RM260 million (S$83 million) flood diversion project for the 1.5m-high deluge that forced more than 1,000 people to evacuate, reported the New Straits Times (NST). The 22km canal - meant to be completed by the middle of this year - was supposed to channel running water directly to the Strait of Malacca.
Kangar MP Shaharuddin Ismail said the construction delay had left the area exposed to floods every time there was a heavy downpour, something that did not happen before the project was started.
"I am urging the state government, the Drainage and Irrigation Department and the contractor concerned to expedite the project. If the contractor is unable to complete the project, might as well just terminate the contract," he told reporters yesterday.
Meanwhile, in Kedah, flood mitigation projects were praised for lowering the number of evacuees, compared with previous years, reported the NST. "Things have improved a lot following the completion of the Sungai Muda flood mitigation project costing RM1.4 billion two years ago," said Menteri Besar Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.
Kedah evacuated 1,104 people as of yesterday, reported The Star.