On Monday (4 July), over 300 residents from 8 villages in Baling, Kedah evacuated to several relief centres (PPS) after a flash flood landed in the area during the wee hours.
According to Bernama, Baling district police chief Supt Shamsudin Mama said the floods had so far affected 85 houses, including Sekolah Menengah Agama Yayasan Al-Khairiah. He added that the waters had also receded.
Shamsudin also said the evacuation operation went smoothly with the involvement of various agencies.
He added that the state-level National Security Council (MKN) would meet to decide on further action involving assistance to the flood victims and on the search and rescue operation for the missing victims.
Meanwhile, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan has denied the claims that logging activities in Gunung Inas forest reserve were the cause to the severe flash floods and water column phenomenon in Baling.
He said the investigations conducted by the Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department found that trees in the flood debris are not timber as they were swept away with their roots intact.
“We want to correct misconceptions that active logging was the cause of the floods along Sg Kupang in Baling,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
He said the department’s official report stated that there is a forest development in the reserve since 2019 with approval from the Kedah government.
The forest development was carried out for reforestation purposes and so far, more than 5,000 trees had been planted in the 52ha area.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the floods have claimed at least 3 lives with the bodies of a pregnant woman and her mother-in-law, who were washed away by floods in Kampung Iboi, were found hugging each other, about 100 metres from the site of their flattened house.
The remains of Nurul Anis Abu Hassan, 28, who was four months pregnant, was found under a pile of tree trunks about 9.30am, along with the body of her mother-in-law, Salmah Mat Akib, 53.