Record numbers evacuated in Malaysia's worst floods in decades

Tourists on Dec 24, 2014, gathering at a school used as an evacuation centre in Jerantut, a major town in central Pahang, after being rescued from the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, which lies in Malaysia's Taman Nagara national park. -- PHOTO: AFP
Tourists on Dec 24, 2014, gathering at a school used as an evacuation centre in Jerantut, a major town in central Pahang, after being rescued from the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, which lies in Malaysia's Taman Nagara national park. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes by authorities in seven states of Malaysia hit by the South-east Asian' nation's worst monsoon floods in decades.

Extremely high levels of floodwater and bad weather have made relocating victims and the transport of food supplies by helicopters difficult, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.

A total of 105,568 people have been displaced in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Kedah, Perlis and Johor, surpassing the previous record of 100,000 people evacuated during floods in 2008.

North-eastern peninsular Malaysia, which is worst affected, is regularly hit by flooding during the annual Northeast Monsoon, but this year's rains have been particularly bad.

On Tuesday, nearly 60 foreign tourists were among almost 100 people rescued by boat and helicopter from a resort in a Malaysian national park lashed by its highest rainfall since 1971..

The flooding comes as communities in northwestern Malaysia mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating tsunami that hit on Dec 26, 2004.

FLOOD DATA BY STATE

Number of evacuees* from:

KELANTAN: 32,139

TERENGGANU: 31,001

PAHANG: 35,736

PERAK: 6,119

JOHOR: 214

KEDAH: 96

PERLIS: 263

TOTAL: 105,568

(*as of Dec 26, 2014, 1pm)