KUANTAN • Nearly 5,000 people in Pahang were evacuated yesterday after heavy rain caused severe floods which also inundated five other states in Malaysia.
The flood situation in Pahang worsened yesterday, with the number of people seeking shelter more than doubling to 4,851 as of yesterday evening, from 2,061 yesterday afternoon.
The affected areas were Maran, Jerantut, Kuantan, Rompin and Pekan in the state.
According to the flood portal of the Social Welfare Department, Kuantan was the worst affected district with 3,931 flood victims being housed in 22 temporary relief centres.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who hails from Pekan, said via Twitter yesterday that he is monitoring the situation in the flood-hit states and ensuring that adequate aid is given to the victims.
The floods had forced 11 schools in Pahang to remain closed on Tuesday on the first day of the new school year.
Pahang acting director of edu-cation Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said the schools were closed because flood waters had inundated their grounds or cut off their access roads.
Residents in the east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan as well as the states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak also had to leave their homes for relief centres as the annual north-east monsoon brought heavy rain and strong winds.
Several schools in Kelantan and Terengganu, which began their new school year on Monday, had been forced to shut due to the floods.
Six schools in Kelantan, with a total enrolment of 1,015, remained closed yesterday.
In Terengganu, two schools were closed yesterday, in the worst-hit areas of Dungun and Kemaman.
A total of 329 people remained at relief centres as at yesterday evening, with most of them coming from Dungun.
The floods also left schools shut for many pupils in Johor, with three primary schools in the Kluang district affected by rising flood waters on Tuesday.
In other parts of Johor, the number of flood victims in Mersing and Kota Tinggi dropped to 380 yesterday evening compared with 426 in the morning, and two relief centres in Kota Tinggi were closed after the flood victims who were housed there returned home.
Over in Sabah, more schools were forced to close due to the worsening floods, after access roads in several areas were submerged in flood waters yesterday.
Eight schools, up from two on Tuesday, were closed, according to Sabah Education Department director Maimunah Suhaibul, affecting 764 pupils and 123 teachers.
The Meteorological Department had forecast severe weather in Pahang's Pekan and Rompin, and Johor's Mersing, until yesterday, while the rainy conditions were expected to subside for Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Terengganu.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA