Flooding in Malaysia displaces over 66,000, 5 deaths reported

River water in several areas in affected states has exceeded danger levels. PHOTO: PARTI ISLAM SE-MALAYSIA (PAS) PUSAT/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - Severe flooding in parts of Malaysia has resulted in the displacement of 66,718 people in five states, as well as five deaths, according to government data published on Tuesday.

The worst-hit areas are in the east coast of the peninsula, with 26,630 people from Kelantan and 39,108 people from Terengganu evacuated to flood relief centres, state news agency Bernama reported.

The other three states affected by rising water levels were Pahang, Johor and Perak, with several hundred people being evacuated.

The authorities have confirmed five deaths, including that of a 15-month-old boy.

Floods in the South-east Asian country have become a yearly phenomenon, triggered by the north-east monsoon that brings heavy rain from November to March.

Last year’s floods in Malaysia – the nation’s worst in decades – left dozens dead, displaced more than 61,000 people and caused an estimated RM6.1 billion in losses.

This year, river water levels in several areas of the affected states have exceeded danger levels.

The Fire and Rescue Department’s fire safety division director Ahmad Izram Osman said his team was conducting aerial monitoring for a better account of the flood situation in Terengganu and would do the same in Kelantan.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his administration would provide extra funds for disaster management and rescue efforts following the monsoon floods, which have been more severe this season. 

The government has allocated RM400 million (S$122 million) to the National Disaster Management Agency for early preparedness initiatives in flood areas, and more funds will be provided when needed, Datuk Seri Anwar – who also doubles as Finance Minister – said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Power utility Tenaga Nasional has advised the public not to touch electrical installations that are submerged in flood water for fear of current leakage.

Malaysia’s meteorological department has issued warnings for continuous rain through Thursday, calling the situation in Terengganu hazardous. The agency earlier said the wet weather is expected to last until early 2023 due to an active La Nina and negative Indian Ocean Dipole concurrences. XINHUA, BLOOMBERG

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