Saturday, May 21, 2022

Thousands flee as floods worsen

The bad weather is expected to continue until Tuesday.

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Thousands more people have fled swamped homes as heavy rains exacerbated flooding in seven states, officials said today, with over 125,000 people evacuated in total since mid-December.

The National Disaster Management Agency said the weeks-long bout of bad weather was expected to carry on until Tuesday.

Dangerous water levels were detected in rivers in at least five states, a government monitoring website showed Sunday, with rising levels recorded in many other areas.

Some 50 people have been killed so far, a police Facebook post on Saturday said, with two still missing.

Malaysia often faces stormy weather around the year’s end, with seasonal flooding regularly causing mass evacuations.

But authorities have been taken by surprise by the days of constant rain that began on Dec 17, causing rivers to overflow and inundating cities.

The richest state of Selangor – the country’s commercial hub – has been among the worst-hit.

Around 117,700 of those evacuated since mid-December have returned to their homes, though nearly 10,000 people in five states in the peninsula and in Sabah have sought refuge in relief centres, official data showed.

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