JOHOR BARU, March 10 — The Johor government has sent water pumps to the Batu Pahat to try and reduce flash floods that have displaced tens of thousands, said Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
He said the state government will also seek additional water pumps from by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DiD) in other states that were not affected by the floods.
“The average flood situation in the state has started to recede, but the current challenge is the situation in Batu Pahat.
“The numbers of flood victims in the district have not decreased and there are some temporary evacuation centres (PPS) that have just opened today.
“With that, we have set up a coordination committee specifically for Batu Pahat to integrate and organise the work involving various aspects, including logistics, to overcome the stagnant flood situation in the district,” said Onn Hafiz after officiating the Johor chapter of the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (Matta) Festival at the Austin International Convention Centre (AICC) here today.
He was commenting on the current flood situation in Johor, with a focus in Batu Pahat that is still the hardest hit district in the floods since March 1.
Mobile water pump units have been employed to remove water from flooded areas, including at the Parit Jambul Water Gate and Sri Medan Botanic Park in Batu Pahat.
With the high tide phenomenon in the next few days, Onn Hafiz explained that it will be difficult for the flood waters to drain out naturally from Batu Pahat.
Due to that, he said the water pumps are being mobilised throughout the district to remove stagnant water from the flood-affected areas,” he said.
The menteri besar also said that the state administration has submitted a letter of request to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim regarding the assistance for Johor, including to rectify infrastructure and facilities that have been affected.
“The flood disaster this time round have caused some damage to the state’s infrastructure, including roads, plants, floor surfaces and so on.
“The actual amount of Johor’s losses is still being calculated, but the initial figures have been submitted to the prime minister,” he said.
Onn Hafiz said losses at present were not yet reached in the nine digits.
However, he said the cost of flood mitigation projects could go into the billions of ringgit.
“We pray that this matter receives the due consideration by the federal government because it involves the well-being and welfare of the people,” he said.
As of 4pm this afternoon, the total number of flood victims in Johor is 44,089 people who are housed in 173 PPS. A majority of them are in Batu Pahat, involving 37,563 victims in 112 PPS.