More than 10,000 evacuated from floods in Malaysia

A view of the flooding at a village in Skudai, Johor. Torrential rain is forecast today for the state, as well as Terengganu and Pahang. The number of people evacuated in Johor was 9,348 as of yesterday. Personnel from the Johor Fire and Rescue Depar
Personnel from the Johor Fire and Rescue Department yesterday helping to move people with disabilities, as well as children, from the Skudai and Tebrau areas to relief centres. Of the nearly 100 centres set up in Malaysia, 85 of them are in Johor.PHOTO: JABATAN BOMBA DAN PENYELAMAT MALAYSIA NEGERI JOHOR
A view of the flooding at a village in Skudai, Johor. Torrential rain is forecast today for the state, as well as Terengganu and Pahang. The number of people evacuated in Johor was 9,348 as of yesterday.
A view of the flooding at a village in Skudai, Johor. Torrential rain is forecast today for the state, as well as Terengganu and Pahang. The number of people evacuated in Johor was 9,348 as of yesterday. PHOTO: PERSATUAN BANGSA JOHOR

Johor bears brunt of downpour, with Kluang, Segamat, Kota Tinggi areas most severely hit

Malaysia's annual monsoon season continues unabated and Johor is facing the brunt of it, with some areas struggling with flood waters up to 2.5m deep.

As of yesterday afternoon, the number of people evacuated in Johor state had more than doubled to 9,348, from 3,934 on Sunday.

Over two-thirds of the state's victims are from Kluang, Segamat and Kota Tinggi, the three most severely hit areas.

Engineer Lor Wei Keong, 43, was stranded atop his four-wheel drive along Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing for two hours before he was rescued by an amphibious boat.

"The water level was only halfway up my vehicle tyres, and I thought I could go," he told the New Straits Times daily. "Unfortunately, the vehicle was trapped in the rising flood water, which was gaining speed as well."

He escaped to his vehicle's rooftop, where he was spotted by road users who called for help.

Nationwide, more than 10,000 flood victims had been evacuated as of noon yesterday, said the National Disaster Management Agency. They were taken to nearly 100 relief centres, of which 85 are in Johor.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued warnings to ships as strong winds and waves from the South China Sea pummelled the coasts of Johor, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.

The department forecasts torrential rain in Johor, Terengganu and Pahang until today, while heavy downpour is expected to drench Sabah until tomorrow.

 
 

As of yesterday afternoon, flood victims in Johor, Pahang and Sarawak have yet to return home, while the last of the evacuees in Melaka went home yesterday morning. In Kuala Lumpur, roads were flooded and drains overflowed as it rained non-stop on Sunday.

Knee-high flood waters in the basement carpark of Ikea Cheras shopping mall left some customers stranded for several hours. Mobile phone reception was erratic in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

In Sabah, unrelenting rain cut off road access to a village in Papar, forcing a woman to give birth at home and then to walk 5km to seek treatment at a health clinic. Local media reported that landslides prevented family members from heading out to get help for the unnamed woman.

The monsoon has so far claimed two lives: a seven-year-old boy who fell into a canal and a 49-year-old Thai labourer who fell into a flooded padi field.

Both happened in Kelantan earlier this month, when the number of people evacuated across Malaysia swelled to more than 15,000.



PHOTO: BERNAMA

Floods worsen in Malaysia

Mr Azhar Osman, 57, and his wife Zanariah Abdullah, 55, surveying the flooded compound of their house following four days of non-stop rainfall at Kampung Gudang Rasau in Pahang yesterday. More than 10,000 flood victims had been evacuated across Malaysia as of noon yesterday. Johor has borne the brunt of the floods.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2019, with the headline 'More than 10,000 evacuated from floods in Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe