JEMPOL: For over 100 residents of Felda Palong Satu here, it was an unpleasant start to the new year when their houses were inundated following 10 hours of continuous heavy rains on Friday (Dec 31).

Palong Satu Felda Scheme Development and Security Committee chairman Johar Dollah said after 7pm on Friday, a house was affected when floodwaters rose to the waist level but later on by midnight almost half of the houses in the village were inundated.

“We did not expect the situation to be this bad as we have experienced heavy rains like this before in 2011, but the outcome was not as severe, even though this area is flood-prone as this is a low-lying area near a stream.

“The water level rose sharply and we couldn’t do anything. In the past, only seven to eight houses were flooded but this time, more than 20 houses were affected and the villagers were evacuated at 3am to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Felda Palong Satu,” he said when met at the relief centre (PPS) where 96 people from 19 families were seeking shelter, here on Saturday (Jan 1).

Johar added so far there were no casualties.

Meanwhile, Jempol MP Datuk Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif said he would help expedite the payment of RM1,000 cash aid to the affected families.

He said apart from Palong Satu, three other relief centres were operating at Kampung Datuk Johan, Kampung Baru Rompin and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Ladang Sialang, to accommodate 177 evacuees from 40 families as of 4pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Bernama check in Gemas found that the road leading to the district near the Syed Sirajuddin Army Camp here, was submerged and closed to light vehicles as of 2.30pm on Saturday.

A resident of Taman Pinggiran, Sungai Kelamah, Kamaruddin Idris, 63, said the floodwaters was up to shoulder level within 10 minutes and as everything happened so quickly, nothing could be saved.

“The police, firefighters and Civil Defence Force personnel took us in boats early this morning to the nearest relief centre as well as the SK Jelamah PPS.

“This incident is the worst ever experienced since the disastrous floods in 1971. I didn’t expect it at all, because after the floods hit Jelebu recently, I thought we will not be badly affected,” said Kamaruddin who was evacuated with four other family members.- Bernama