Ketua balai bomba dan penyelamat Cameron Highlands Yusri Abdullah Sani berkata, seorang lagi individu masih hilang.
Bercakap kepada Malaysiakini ketika dihubungi, beliau berkata seluruh kekuatan pasukannya seramai 28 orang ditugaskan untuk operasi mencari dan menyelamat.
Tambahnya, pihak Tenaga Nasional Berhad yang menjadi pemilik empangan hidroeletrik Sultan Abu Bakar itu membunyikan siren amaran pada jam 12 tengah malam tadi sebelum air berkenaan dilepaskan 20 minit kemudian.
Gambar yang diperolehi dari kawasan kejadian hari ini antara lainnya menunjukkan kesan terjahan air serta lumpur yang menenggelami kenderaan dan kawasan penduduk.
Sementara itu,laporan Bernama menyebut, kira-kira 80 rumah di pinggir Sungai Bertam dihanyutkan arus deras akibat limpahan air yang dilepaskan dari empangan tersebut.
Ketua Polis Daerah Cameron Highlands DSP Mohd Zahari Wan Busu dalam laporan itu menyebut, mangsa yang dijumpai lemas dikenali sebagai Jahangir, 30-an warga Bangladesh dan seorang wanita Indonesia dikenali sebagai, Kesmat, 46 tahun.
Katanya, pasukan itu masih mencari seorang lagi wanita Indonesia berusia 17 tahun yang hilang.
Sebanyak 100 kenderaan turut rosak teruk dalam kejadian itu, katanya.
Beliau menambah, air terpaksa dilepaskan bagi mengelak empangan itu pecah berikutan hujan lebat yang berterusan sejak 7 petang semalam.
"Pelepasan air empangan pertama dibuat pada 12 tengah malam diikuti pada jam 1 pagi dan seterusnya pada 2.45 pagi yang menyebabkan air di Sungai Bertam melimpah secara mendadak dan menyebabkan banjir kilat," katanya.
Katanya lagi, seramai 20 keluarga di kawasan berkenaan telah dipindahkan ke Dewan Orang Ramai Ringlet.
Sementara itu, ADUN Teja yang melawat kawasan tersebut pula berkata seramai tiga orang maut dan seorang lagi hilang di Bertam Valley.
"Jumlah kematian mungkin meningkat. Pihak berkuasa sedang memeriksa punca kejadian," katanya di Facebook.
Laporan The Star Online pula menyebut, seramai tiga orang didapati masih hilang.
Kejadian itu berlaku selepas hujan berterusan yang menyebabkan kejadian banjir Perak dan Kedah. Seramai 1,158 orang dilaporkan dipindahkan di daerah Manjung hari ini akibat banjir.
Keadaan banjir di Kedah pula bertambah baik dengan jumlah mangsa banjir berkurangan kepada 692 orang berbanding 2.176 orang pada hari sebelumnya.-malaysiakini
Three dead after Cameron Highlands dam gate opened...
Cameron Highlands Fire and Rescue Services Department chief Yusri Abdullah Sani said the department was alerted on the casualties at 1.38am.
“A total of 28 personnel are involved in the search-and-rescue operation. So far we have recovered two bodies - a Bangladeshi male, and an Indonesian female. An Indonesian woman is reported missing,” Yusri said.
“A siren at the Sultan Abu Bakar dam in Ringlet was sounded about midnight to alert residents that water would be released,” he said when contacted.
“The first gate was lifted by four inches. Twenty minutes after the siren was sounded. Those at the dam then released more water from the first gate at 1am, followed by a full release at 2.43am.”
Yusri said the dam staff had to fully open the first gate for fear that the rising water level would reach the maximum level, which would have led to all four gates automatically opening.
He said two foreigners who were swept away by the water had died, while a Malaysian had died of a heart attack. Yusri added the department's canine unit had been called in to search for the missing Indonesian.
The Bertam Valley has been flooded with muddy water, affecting 80 houses, he said.
Teja assemblyperson Chang Lih Kang, whose constituency is located adjacent to Cameron Highlands, said on his Facebook account: ‘Sad day! Although it's my birthday, but three dead and one missing at Bertam Valley.
‘Mud flood due to the opening of TNB reservoir's flood gates. I am at the scene now, death toll might rise. The authority is still checking the cause of the incident.’
‘Notice not given’
When contacted later, Chang said Kampung Baru Bertam Valley was the worst hit area, with more than half of the houses flooded.
"From what I have learnt from the rescue team, three people have died so far - an Indonesian, a Bangladeshi and a Malaysian," he said.
While the two foreigners drowned in the flood, the Malaysian died of an apparent heart attack during the incident, he said.
A Malaysian who was injured has been admitted to Ipoh Hospital, Chang (left) said.
"It’s a real mess here. Everybody is busy cleaning up. The villagers complained that the authorities did not give notice before opening the flood gate,” Chang said.
"They said the authorities only rang the bell, but that the flooding had started by then. Moreover, it was raining and the elderly could not hear the siren.”
Expressing sadness, Chang said the situation could have been avoided if notice had been given.
"They should have known about the water level rising, and informed the public when this went above the danger line,” he said.
"If we can't even handle a small thing like this, can you imagine how we would deal with (the) Lynas (rare earths processing plant operations)?"
Bernama quoted Cameron Highlands district police chief Mohd Zahari Wan Busu as identifying the dead as Jahangir, a Bangladeshi in his 30s, and Kesmat, an Indonesian woman aged 46.
Their bodies have been sent to Sultanah Kalsom Hospital in Tanah Rata.
Mohd Zahari said a Malaysian, Tan Tuck Choi, 51, had suffered a heart attack and died enroute to the hospital there, bringing the death toll to three.
He added a local resident, Ho Kim Way, 38, who had sustained head and body injuries, was warded at the hospital.
"The search for the 17-year-old Indonesian girl is ongoing," Zahari said.
He said the water had to be released to prevent the dam from 'bursting' following continuous rain since 7pm yesterday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent Yusmaizi Zulkifli from Pahang's Zone Three Fire and Rescue Department said the normal water level at the dam was 3.498 metres.
He said the water was released when its level touched 3.508 metres.- malaysiakini
Water release at dam followed procedures, says TNB...
The release of water via the spillway at the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam in Cameron Highlands early this morning followed fixed procedures, said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
In a statement in Kuala Lumpur, TNB said controlled release of water was done to prevent flooding in the entire Bertam Valley.
Heavy rain overnight and flash flooding around Ringlet caused an oveflow of water into the dam resulting in the water level exceeding the permitted maximum threshold, the statement said.
It added that TNB took all needed steps including liaising with the security authorities, local authority and the head of Bertam Valley’s village security and development committee (JKKK) before the controlled release of water was undertaken.
About 80 houses downstream were damaged as a result of the sudden rush of water from the dam in the 1am incident.
The incident also claimed the lives of two foreign workers and a local, while one other person is still reported missing.- Bernama