KUALA LUMPUR - More than 40,000 people took shelter at dozens of relief centres in Malaysia's east coast states on Thursday (Jan 6) as heavy flooding continued to inundate villages and block roads.
The number of evacuees have nearly doubled from 20,575 people reported on Wednesday morning.
At least five deaths have been reported due to the annual monsoon season.
The latest victim was a 20-year-old man, who fell from a boat on Thursday while helping out flood victims to ove to a shelter in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Bernama news agency reported.
Kelantan has 6,000 people housed in the relief centres, which are mostly public and school halls.
The Kelantan capital of Kota Baru was expected to be hit by floods around midnight on Thursday.
Terengganu has 11,777 people in these centres at 8pm on Thursday, Bernama reported.
Kemaman, a Terengganu costal town that faces South China Sea, has 10,103 evacuees at these centres - the biggest number in the current monsoon season.
Six rivers in Terengganu have breached the danger level, officials said, including Sungai Kemaman that had risen to 6.81m, nearly 3m beyond its danger level that necessitate evacuations, the news agency said.
Pahang state has 22,292 people sheltering in the rellief shelters, slightly lower than 23,000 on Thursday afternoon as some had made their way back to their homes as floodwaters receded.
Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor face the South China Sea, which is lashed by strong currents and winds along with heavy rain during the monsoon season, which typically starts in November and lasts for about four months.