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50,000 villagers trapped by flash floods

IPOH: About 50,000 villagers were trapped in their homes for almost two hours when flash floods turned the flood-prone Gugusan Manjoi area here into an island yesterday.

In what was described as the worst flood here in the past five years, muddy floodwaters rose to chest level following a downpour that began at about 5pm.

Sign of trouble: Residents of Gugusan Manjoi looking at the overflowing riverbanks of the Kinta River after the downpour yesterday.

All access roads leading to the village were severed when Sungai Pari, Sungai Tapah and Sungai Kati burst their banks and overflowed onto five bridges.

According to villagers, barely 10 minutes after the rain began, the Datuk Md Said, Tengku Hussein, Sg Tapah, Jalan Menteri and Jalan Raja bridges were flooded in 1m of water.

The worst affected was the Jalan Raja bridge, one of the main access links to the village, which caused panic among villagers when cracks were seen along its guardrails.

About 500 villagers from homes located mostly along the riverbanks were badly affected by the floodwaters that only receded at 8pm.

Grandmother Esah Abdullah Sani, 67, who lives alone in a house along Sungai Pari just outside Gugusan Manjoi, said she was lying on her bed when the floodwaters started rising.

Esah almost became hysterical when the waters reached chest level.

“I just stood until help came,” said Esah who was later rescued by Fire and Rescue Department personnel on a boat.

Manjoi assemblyman Datuk Nadzri Ismail proposed that the bridges be rebuilt with curved spans to prevent more floods.

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