KUANTAN - The number of flood victims in the Malaysian state of Pahang who have been evacuated from their homes as a result of heavy rains climbed to nearly 9,000 on Thursday (Jan 4), Malaysian media reported.
As of 2pm on Thursday, 8,800 people have been evacuated to 50 flood relief centres, up from 7,309 in the morning, the Bernama news agency reported, citing the flood portal of the Social Welfare Department.
The district of Lipis became the latest to be struck by the floods, which have also affected Kuantan, Maran, Jerantut, Rompin and Pekan.
Most of the evacuees, however, came from Kuantan, with 7,162 evacuees being housed in 28 temporary relief centres.
Two people have died in the floods. They included a 17-year-old who was walking back to his home around midnight when he had an an epileptic seizure and fell into knee-deep flood waters, the New Straits Times reported citing state police chief Rosli Ab Rahman.
The other victim was a seven-year-old who drowned while playing near a monsoon drain on Wednesday.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who hails from Pekan where hundreds have been affected, had said via Twitter on Wednesday that he is monitoring the situation in the flood-hit states and ensuring that adequate aid is given to the victims.
At least 21 schools in Pahang remained closed on Thursday, since the new school year began on Tuesday.
The monsoon rains had also caused flooding in other parts of the country, including Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak, forcing hundreds to evacuate and more than a dozen schools to be closed.
Terengganu saw a slight increase in evacuees on Thursday, with 1,036 people seeking refuge in 13 relief centres from 1,003 people in the morning, the New Straits Times reported. Six primary schools there were shut on Thursday, the paper reported.
The flood situation improved in Kelantan, although there was still a risk of flooding as four rivers in the state remained above their warning levels as of 10am on Thursday.
Five schools that were previously closed due to flooding reopened on Thursday, with only one remaining closed.
Over in Johor, the number of evacuees was little changed, with 387 seeking refuge at relief centres - one down from 388 on Thursday morning. Two schools remained closed.
In Sabah, more people were evacuated from flooded areas on Thursday afternoon, with 555 people evacuated, up from 489 in the morning.
Fourteen schools remained closed on Thursday due to the floods.
Meanwhile, in Sarawak, three schools remained shut on Thursday.