KUANTAN: The town of Mentakab welcomed 2021 with floods and is now ending it with another round of floods, this time said to be the worst since 1971.

A restaurant owner, who wanted to be known only as May, said she had never seen such a severe flood hit her hometown before.

“The floods in January reached the front steps of our restaurant.

“It was quite shocking how fast the water rose to flood the entire first floor this time.

“We quickly sheltered upstairs in our shophouse,” said May.

She added that the situation this time was much worse than the floods that struck Pahang in 2014.

“Fortunately, it receded a lot on Wednesday (yesterday). We hope to be able to clean up and resume business soon,” said May.

Likewise, resident Sandy Tan, 32, said she had never seen Mentakab so severely inundated before.

“I would say up to 90% of the town was flooded. I heard from the elders that this is more or less the same situation as the floods in 1971,” said the insurance agent.

Tan said residents did not expect the floodwaters to rise so quickly.

“It started on Dec 19 when the market began flooding. That area usually gets flooded first so we all thought it would be the same as the floods in January.

“But then it got worse very quickly overnight and by the next day, the whole town and its surrounding areas were flooded,” said Tan.

The Mentakab police station reported that flood water levels were showing a decreasing trend with 4,338 evacuees still in eight relief centres as at noon yesterday.

Meanwhile, Pahang Civil Defence Force director Col (PA) Che Adam A Rahman reportedly said the districts of Temerloh, Bera, Maran and Pekan were forecast to be affected by water flow upstream of Sungai Pahang.

He said there would not be heavy rain until Dec 25 as forecast by the Meteorological Department but there was the probability of floods in low-lying areas.

However, he said it would likely not result in a large evacuation.