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Kota Bharu folk living on beachside prepare to evacuate

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Residents living near Pantai Cahaya Bulan beach in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, are preparing to evacuate to a safer place as fierce waves grew following the landing of tropical storm Pabuk in the state.

A villager, Razali Rashid, 63, said his family is packing to move further away from their house which is located 15 metres from seaside.

"We have kept our documents in a surau about 500 metres away from my house as I fear wave water may gush into our house.

“Similarly electrical items were kept on high places and have been switched off to avoid any untoward incidents,” he told Bernama observing the condition at the seaside today.

However, Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department director Nazili Mahmood said the department has not received information on affected residents evacuating.

Earlier, residents of seven houses located near the coast around Kampung Pantai Pulau Kundur in the state said they were living in fear as the tropical storm slammed into their village last night.

One of the residents, Isa Hassan, 63, said this was the first time he encountered a tropical storm after living in this area for more than 60 years.

“I have not seen such a strong storm despite facing the monsoon season every year. It was really frightening,” he said when met here today.

"The waves and strong winds blew down the back wall of our house at about 5am and we could only chant prayers to be safe from the storm,” he said.

Terengganu gov’t to give out special aid

The Terengganu government will be providing special assistance to residents in the state whose houses were damaged by the tropical storm Pabuk prevailing now.

Terengganu state secretary A Rahman said so far the government has not set the amount to be distributed to victims depending on the level damage to their houses.

“During the warning period, residents are advised to stay at home and adhere to orders issued by the authorities,” he told a media conference in Kuala Terengganu today.

In Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, residents were similarly shocked at the magnitude of the tropical storm which struck villages in Mengabang Telipot, Batu Rakit, yesterday.

Even though the powerful wind did not cause much damage, it was a harrowing experience for the villagers.

Nurul Liyananazihah Mohamad Yahya, 29, who lives in Kampung Tanjung Gelam said the storm was the most overwhelming she had experienced after living here for 14 years and it even ripped off the roof of her house.

"We began to feel the strength of the wind as it landed in morning to about 10pm last night.

“Moments the roof was blow away, rain drenched our house and we have to seek shelter in my cousin's house last night,” said the mother of two children.

Her husband, Yushrey A Rashid, 44, said their house toilet was washed away by a giant wave during a monsoon season but they felt safer as the authorities had built a wave breaker behind the house.

The storm affected areas were in the districts of Kuala Nerus and Kuala Terengganu with Kampung Mengabang Telipot and Kampung Batu Rakit most badly hit.

Strong winds also caused several trees along Kuala Ibai-Kuala Terengganu road and the town centre to be uprooted, resulting in damage to several cars.

MMEA: Avoid maritime activities, watersports

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has advised the people and the maritime community against going to the sea on the east coast of the peninsula until this Sunday, following a warning on the Pabuk tropical storm.

MMEA deputy director-general Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the bad weather warning (code orange) issued by the Meteorological Department (JMM) at 11.45am today reported the the storm is now at 6.1 degrees north, 104.5 degrees east and is expected to move at 15 kmph to the west approaching the Segenting Kra (Malaysia-Thai border).

“All levels of the maritime community were called to take safety measures to secure their boats and ships. They are advised not to carry out activities such as fishing, recreational tourism following the warning issued by JMM.

“Members of MMEA have been reminded to check on their assets and detained vessels during the period,” he said.

Mohd Zubil said the bad weather warning issued by JMM could cause heavy rain with strong winds exceeding 60 kmph and rough seas with waves as high as 4.5 metres in the waters of Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak.

- Bernama

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