Cleaning, repair and aid underway for families affected by storm in Meru

IPOH: A total of 77 families were affected by a storm that hit several areas in Bandar Meru Raya causing flash floods and damaging more than 40 houses here yesterday evening.

“A meeting involving various state and Federal agencies was held this morning to streamline aid and post-disaster work,“ said Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad after visiting the temporary relief centres at Dewan Orang Ramai Taman Meru and Dewan Orang Ramai Kampung Seri Kinta here today.

Eight families, who were displaced by the flash floods, were evacuated to the two centres last night.

He said cleaning works were underway and cash aid from the state and Federal governments, including the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and non-governmental organisations are being handed out to the victims.

“The state government’s focus now is to repair the badly damaged houses, such as blown-off roofs. The Kinta District Land Office (District Development Department) is also evaluating the damage,“ he said.

The state government is providing a cash aid of RM300 to ease the burden of the families involved, he said, adding that other aid such as the RM1,000 from Nadma, and from Tabung Musa’adah Madani, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) are being streamlined.

“I have been informed by the Tambun Parliamentary Office and Hulu Kinta State Assembly office that stop-gap measures of repairing the roofs, as well as distribution of canvas to temporarily cover the damaged parts, have been carried out,” said Saarani.

He said that according to the Kinta District Land Office, at least 11 locations around Ipoh were hit by flash floods during the storm, but most of them have receded today.

Saarani said the existing drainage system in the affected areas is too old and not capable of handling such a large deluge during sudden storms.

He said the local authority is in the process of identifying the suitable drainage size to cope with larger volumes of water, for the long term.

“We urge the public to always keep the drains around their houses clean and refrain from throwing rubbish and soil to prevent blockages, which could easily lead to flooding,“ he said. – Bernama