JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Flooding has worsened in Johor with the southern Malaysian state recording its first death, while some 1,780 people have been relocated to 28 temporary relief centres.
State Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said that as at 8pm Saturday (Jan 2), 28 temporary relief centres have been opened in Johor Baru, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Kulai and Batu Pahat.
"There are 698 victims in Kluang followed by Johor Baru with 690 victims, Kota Tinggi (286), Kulai (99) and Batu Pahat (23)," he said.
Pictures in Malaysian media showed flooded village roads and stranded cars in several places in Johor, while others showed people wading in knee-deep water outside their villages, during the ongoing monsoon season.
Johor has recorded one death due to the floods at a village in central Kluang town, while part of the Jalan Pengerang-Kota Tinggi road has been temporarily closed after it was inundated in 0.1m of floodwaters.
Kluang Fire and Rescue Department operation commander Shamsul Amri Mohd Shahab said the victim was a 59-year-old woman who drowned after falling into a one-metre drain in Kampung Contoh.
"The body of the victim, identified as Halijah Majid, was recovered by members of the public inside the drain that was filled water.
"A medical team tried to perform CPR to save the victim but she was pronounced dead at the location," he said on Saturday (Jan 2).
The Malaysian Meteorological Department has meanwhile issued a red alert warning of continuous heavy rainfall occurring at Kulai, Johor Baru and Kota Tinggi.
The department has also issued a warning of continuous rain in areas of Segamat, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Mersing, Pontian, Tangkak and Muar.
The department warned on Saturday of heavy rain in five of the country's 13 states - Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Sabah.
These states face the South China Sea, which experiences heavy rainfall and strong waves during the monsoon season.