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Operation Update Report Malaysia: Floods Operation update n° 1 (DREF n° MDRMY004)

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Description of the disaster

Heavy rains continued in Malaysia since the rains began to make its mark in the northern states of the western peninsular Malaysia from the end of November 2019. At the end of November 2019, water level rose in some rivers in Kelantan and Terengganu. On 29 November 2019, Sungai Golok at Jenob Tanah Merah and Sungai Lebir in Tualang Kuala Krai breached its warning level respectively. As for Terengganu states, the levels of three rivers in Setiu and one in Besut namely Sungai Nerus in Kampung Langkap, Sungai Setiu in Kampung Besut, Sungai Chalok in Chalok Bridge and Sungai Besut in Kampung La had breached the danger point.

The flood caused massive chaos and disturbance in East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. More than 15,000 people have been evacuated into designated relief centers in Kelantan and Terengganu on 3 December 2019.

The Pasir Mas district in Kelantan is the worst affected district with almost 2,000 families evacuated to evacuation centers. The district remains to be accessible only to watercrafts. The Malaysian National Security Council (NSC), the National Agency for Disaster Administration (NADMA) and the District Offices in the respective affected areas were coordinating the evacuation activities with the support of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department and Malaysian Civil Defence Force or ‘Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia’ (JPAM).

The water level receded and most of the evacuation centers were closed on 5 December 20193 . The team closely monitoring the situation due to meteorological department of Malaysia predicted second wave on 25 – 26 December 2019.

Summary of current response

The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) along with IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating closely with the Government of Malaysia (GoM) at national and district levels.

MRCS volunteers in branches throughout the affected areas have been active since December 2019 in anticipation of the seasonal rains and potential flooding. For instance, the Kelantan branch of MRCS activated its preparedness plan which it had developed following a disaster management training facilitated by the IFRC in May 2016 with funding support from the Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). In addition to the training, the branch had also been equipped with a rescue boat. When early warning advisories were received from the Malaysian Meteorological Department, Red Crescent volunteers were placed on standby for response and following the initial flooding in Kelantan, the MRCS branch deployed its boat to support search and rescue efforts alongside the government’s Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART).

MRCS mobilized 50 volunteers from its branches for the needs assessment, supported by three rescue teams from the national headquarters.

The MRCS Kelantan branch has setup three mass cooking units in three evacuation centres in Pasir Mas, Bachok and Kuala Krai. The mass cooking unit complements the Social Welfare Department of Kelantan’s programme at the evacuation centres.

In Terengganu namely in Kampong Tadok, Hulu Terengganu, the Community Based Action Team (CBATs) supported by the MRCS volunteers are engaged in rescuing villagers from flooded areas and relocating them to evacuation centers.

On 10 December 2019, a joint assessment team of 19 members from MRCS including two officers from the IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) were deployed to Kelantan and Terengganu. The purpose of the mission was to conduct rapid needs assessment of the flood affected population on the recent floods, conduct cash feasibility study and market analysis. The mission support MRCS:

• Prepare and plan the cash transfer to the 1,000 affected households.

• Ensure the operations is implemented according to the guidelines and procedures relating to the minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) as well as community engagement and accountability (CEA).

• Support the verification of people to be reached which includes registration of people to be reached.

The team has been divided into two areas: Kelantan and Terengganu and the team breakdown according to states focus areas:

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) in Kuala Lumpur doubles its efforts as the country team for support to Malaysia. Its international and national staff specializing in various programming sectors and support services is supporting the MRCS response. The Disaster and Crisis Unit of APRO has one team member dedicated fully to support the Disaster Management department of MRCS in operational planning and coordination. Two RDRT members (CEA and operations support) will be deployed to MRCS to assist the operation, both one month.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

NADMA, Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police and other local government agencies have conducted evacuations, established emergency shelters, operationalized evacuation centers and continue to provide relief assistance to affected families. The authorities have deployed the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) in the affected areas to carry out search and rescue operations in highly inundated areas. Furthermore, the relevant District Offices are coordinating all humanitarian activities at district level working closely with NADMA,
Malaysian Civil Defense Force, Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysia Police in these affected areas. In accordance with the Policy and Mechanism of National Disaster Management and Relief set out by the National Security Council (known as Directive No. 20), the District Offices are responsible in evacuating the flood victims to evacuation centers while other agencies and voluntary bodies, including the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, have roles defined in relief and recovery efforts.

NGOs and NPOs that provided assistance in Terengganu and Kelantan are the following:

• Institut Modal Insan Terengganu Sejahtera (IMIT) – supported the clean-up of the houses.

• Unit Amal Malaysia – cleaning houses and relief operation.

• Mercy Malaysia – donated 83 hygiene kits, support the cleaning of schools after flood.

• Coca Cola – distribute mineral water to JPAM office.

• Rescue Bencana Malaysia – rescue and relief operation, in-kind distribution.

• Third Force – in-kind distribution and repair works.

• University student from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin – helped in registration at evacuation centres and relief distribution