The number of people affected by severe flooding across Malaysia in recent weeks has risen to over 125,000. Flooding in 7 states yesterday saw thousands evacuated from their homes, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Agency.
A Reuters report lists the affected states as Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah, with 8,727 residents seeking shelter at 128 relief centres. Across the country, 125,490 people have been affected, with 117,700 having now returned to their homes.
The east coast of Malaysia often experiences flooding during the monsoon season which runs from October to March. However, unprecedented heavy rainfall, which began on December 17, meant thousands had to be evacuated to safety, stretching the emergency services to breaking point. According to the Reuters report, 50 people are confirmed to have died in the flooding and 2 people are still missing.
A warning of continuous heavy rains remains in place and the National Disaster Control Centre has issued a disaster operation preparedness notice. Malaysia’s Department of Irrigation and Drainage has also warned of high tides on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia from January 2 – 5.
The government has pledged 1.4 billion ringgit (11.2 billion Thai baht) for those affected by the flooding and has also requested US$3 million from the UN Green Climate Fund, with the aim of creating a national plan to adapt to climate change.
The Malaysian government has already come under fire from citizens, who have criticised its slow response to the disaster and lack of help in the clean-up operation.
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