YAN, Aug 19 — The upstream water rush phenomenon at the waterfall area near Gunung Jerai yesterday evening has been described as a “mini-tsunami” due to the strong waves that caused trees and bridges to collapse in the blink of an eye.
That was how a resident, Salwa Md Isa, 34, described it after watching the unusually strong flow of water near her house during the upstream water rush incident from the top of Gunung Jerai which resulted in massive floods in the surrounding areas.
“I grew up in this village and this is the first time I’ve seen such an incident. The upstream water rush has happened before but not to such an extent until the bridges and roads collapsed, cars washed away and people dying… I am very scared,” she told reporters in Kampung Setol here last night.
Salwa said the incident occurred at about 5pm and the water began to recede at about 7.30pm, adding that the disaster caused the water supply to her house to be disconnected.
Mohd Nasir Shuib, 41, meanwhile had a terrifying experience when he found the body of a man, in his 60s, near a banana tree at 5.30pm.
“I saw the water in the river near my house flowing rapidly and it sounded differently. The water flowed so fast that all the logs were washed away until my house and my neighbour’s were inundated,” he said.
He believes that heavy rain at the peak of Gunung Jerai over the last few days may have caused water to accumulate before suddenly overflowing.
“This is the worst incident. The town of Yan had never been flooded, but today it has… now efforts to rescue the victims are being carried out,” he said.
Another resident, Jaafar Man, 62, said that for now he and his family were taking refuge in a higher building for fear of the water level rising again.
Jaafar, who is the owner of Kenari Nature Park Camp in the Titi Hayun area near Gunung Jerai, said the camping site had been inundated with water and sand up to waist level.
“For now, my seven family members and I are safe. We still have the electricity supply and we also have sufficient food and drinks. Only the water supply has been cut off.
“Heavy rain in the afternoon caused many facilities at the camp, including the homestay, surau, pond, meeting area and canteen to be inundated.
“Many mirrors and building structures were also broken due to being hit by the washed away logs,” he said, adding that he had been running the recreation camp for 21 years. — Bernama