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RM1bn loss from the floods and counting

  • A vehicle is seen piled up on a heap of garbage after the floods. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • These cows in Kuantan are stranded by the floodwaters, and risk being drowned if the water level rises further. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Residents in Temerloh, Pahang, begin to clean up the mess after the floods. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • A white color vehicle is seen piled up on the neighbor's red car. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

PETALING JAYA, Jan 3 (Sin Chew Daily) -- Damages caused by the massive floods in east coast and northern states on Peninsular Malaysia are estimated to be in the vicinity of RM1 billion.

According to government officials, damages caused by the floods run up to RM878 million, and this includes RM350 million required to restore schools in five states, RM200 million to repair damaged homes, RM100 million for roads in Kelantan, RM132 million for Terengganu roads and RM96 million for repair of 93 hill slopes along the major roads.

The figure still does not include damages caused to rubber, oil palm plantation and agricultural sector, as well as loss suffered by residents and businesses.

Kelantan Flood Disaster Relief Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the infrastructure damages in Kelantan alone were estimated at more than RM200 million. The actual figure,believed to be much higher than this, will only be assessed after floodwaters have receded fully.

TNB's loss in Kelantan is estimated at more than RM10 million while the state water supply company's loss is estimated at RM3 million.

Need time to evaluate loss

Works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof has said his ministry would require more time to assess the damages caused by the floods, as floodwaters have yet to recede in some areas, adding that the ministry would need to first inspect the damaged buildings and roads before evaluating the total loss.

Minister of plantation industries and commodities Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas has said the floods have affected approximately 7,500 oil palm smallholders in seven states (Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor, Perak, Selangor and Sabah), with affected areas of 24,000 hectares. He said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman to monitor the situation of 165,000 hectares of oil palm plantations that may be affected by the floods.

Meanwhile, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad has said the agency would be assessing the damages caused by the floods, the most seriously affected being oil palm plantations in Gua Musang, Kelantan and parts of Pahang.

Up to RM10m loss from vehicle owners

When contacted by Sin Chew Daily, East Coast Automobile Repair Association committee member Choon Yueh Chiang said more than 1,000 vehicles in Kelantan had been submerged by the floodwaters and owners would need between RM1,000 and RM10,000 to repair their vehicles.

From this he estimated the loss suffered by vehicle owners in the state to be between RM1 million to RM10 million.

As for heavy vehicles, Choon said the repair cost could run up to RM10.,000-RM30,000.

He said his own workshop could only handle up to five vehicles a day. He estimated that he would need at least two months to handle all the 'soaked" vehicles sent to his workshop.

He said most of the damaged vehicles were from seriously affected areas such as Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah, Gua Musang, Tumpat and Kota Bharu. In Rantau Panjang alone, at least 80 vehicles had been affected by the ravaging floods.

He told Sin Chew Daily this year's monsoon season was could rare in that it happened suddenly and many vehicle owners did not have enough time to move their vehicles to higher grounds, adding that even vehicles parked at higher grounds were still not spared by the floods.

"In Kuala Krai, for instance, although some of the car owners have moved their vehicles to safer places more than 10 feet high, due to the excessively high water level this year of between 16 and 18 feet, these vehicles have not been spared as well."

"Money is all we need"

Meanwhile, the situation in the neighboring state of Terengganu was a little different, as many vehicles in Kemaman had taken precaution and moved their vehicles to higher grounds before the floods. Only about 40 vehicles have to be sent to workshops for repair this year.

A resident in Kuala Krai, Kelantan told Sin Chew Daily the flood victims needed to start from scratch to rebuild their homes.

"What we need most is not daily supplies but cash donations, for the households need the money to replace the damaged electrical appliances.

"My two-storey house was inundated by the floodwaters. Although the floodwaters have subsided now, everything inside the house such as clothes, sofa, electrical appliances, mattresses have become unusable."


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