Water levels in Johor rivers up, with three bursting their banks

JOHOR BARU: Water levels in Johor rivers are rising dangerously, raising fears of a repeat of the 2006 floods that left the state inundated and with damages worth millions in its wake.

The Meteorological Department warned late Saturday afternoon of heavy rain over Muar, Ledang, Segamat, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Mersing, Kota Tinggi, Kulaijaya, here and in the Pontian areas.

According to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) online river level data, three in Johor burst their banks yesterday. Sungai Muar, Sungai Benut and Sungai Mengkibol overflowed at 5.50pm.

However, if the downpour continued, the department warned that five more rivers – Sungai Bekok, Sungai Lenik, Sungai Senggarang, Sungai Johor and Sungai Plentong – would also overflow today.

DID deputy director-general Datuk KJ Abraham said the department was monitoring the river levels and was prepared for any eventuality.

“Every district has an office that will set up an evacuation centre to help the affected in the event of a flood,” he said.

In Kota Tinggi, four families from Kampung Sungai Berangan were evacuated at 6am yesterday as the water level at Sungai Berangan rose to a dangerous level.

In Pasir Gudang, more than 20 houses were knee-deep in water as the drainage system there could not cope with the increase in water near Taman Kota Puteri.

The Pasir Gudang highway was flooded and caused a massive jam while 100m of the Masai Lama-Kong Kong road, just before the Octville Golf Resort in Seri Alam, was impassable to vehicles.