By: RaY KinZoKu

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Saturday, 11-Dec-2004 18:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
The Annual Flood of Kota Bharu...

Flags dancing in the violent wind..
No rain, only heavy clouds+strong wind..
Once a year fiesta..
The Balai Besar Square..
Jalan Temenggong..
Jalan Buluh Kubu..
"Floodgate" avoiding flood current from ruining the old palace..
Water level on the rise (Istana Jahar)..
Traffic jam as vehicles escaping flooded roads..
Within hours, only boats can pass through this road..
No vehicles dare to venture close..
Muddy river water in action..
The Arch, above water..
Flood-friendly trishaw..
"Floating" Mosque of Kota Bharu..
Vehicles escaping flooded road..
Road jammed with cars..
..escaping the slowly flooded town..
For a tropical country like Malaysia, this annual occurance is called "Monsoon", and unlike Typhoon, it is resulted when winter in Northern Hemisphere created high atmospheric pressure which then turns into strong flow of air moving down to the low-pressured Southern Hemisphere, bringing along rainclouds. So, the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia happens to be along its way and when this Northeast Wind hits land, heavy torrential rain will come, usually non-stop for days and last from November till March.

So it rained non-stop days before, but 3 days ago, the rain stops. Only rainclouds (even the Sun is nowhere to be seen) and strong winds, with mercury drops 7 Celcius below daily average. However, in the interiors, rain poured heavily down the mountainous range. And today, the mighty Kelantan River started to discharge excessive water it had carried all the way from the deep interiors, into the streets of Kota Bharu which lies very close to the river. By the time I took these photos, the town was just getting flooded and the water level was on the rise. It also seems that this town might turn into "Venice of the East" soon, like it used to be 10 years ago, when streets turned into waterways which only boats could pass through. The last great flood was like 10 years ago but due to dramatic climatic changes (El Nino, Green-House Effect etc), there were no heavy floodings after that. The current one is perhaps still too early to conclude tho. Still, this phenomenon is not a curse but a real blessing to the state of Kelantan. It gives nutrients to the river delta which put smiles to farmers' face besides replenishing the corals and fishes of the South China Sea with foods, brought to their doorsteps, courtesy of the ages old annual flood .

Background Song : Tsunami by Southern All Stars (Kuwata Keisuke)

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