Severe floods hit Johor as Malaysia's monsoon season continues, more than 10 000 evacuated

Severe floods hit Johor as Malaysia's monsoon season continues, more than 10 000 evacuated

The annual monsoon season in Malaysia continues to batter the country, with Johor being hit the hardest and some areas struggling with over 2 m (8 feet) of floodwater. As of Monday afternoon, December 16, 2019, evacuees have doubled to 9 348 in Johor and to more than 10 000 nationwide, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

The evacuees were taken to 100 relief centers, 85 of which were in Johor. Over two-thirds of the state's victims were from Kluang, Segamat, and Kota Tinggi, the three worst-hit areas.

A 43-year-old engineer named Lor Wei Keong was rescued after he was stranded atop his four-wheel-drive along Jalan Kota. "The water level was only half-way up my vehicle tires, and I thought I could go," he said.

"Unfortunately, the vehicle was trapped in the rising floodwaters which were gaining speed as well."

Flood victims in Johor, Pahang, and Sarawak have yet to return home as of Monday, while the last of the evacuees in Melaka went home in the morning.

In Kuala Lumpur, rains were non-stop on Sunday, December 15, flooding roads and causing drains to overflow.

Customers in IKEA were stranded for several hours when the basement carpark was flooded, with waters reaching knee-high.

"Unfortunately, our drainage systems are impacted by construction beyond our own property," IKEA Malaysia said.

Mobile phone reception was also disrupted in Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang. Celcom announced that floods caused triple fiber failure, which caused problems in services. The network provider said the issue has been resolved by midday.

In Sebah, roads connecting to a village in Papar were cut off that one pregnant woman had to give birth at home and walk 5 km (3 miles) to seek treatment. Family members of the unidentified woman were unable to help due to landslides, according to local media.

This year's monsoon season killed two, who were both in Kelantan earlier in December when the number of evacuees across Malaysia reached over 15 000.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department issued warnings to ships as rough seas from the South China Sea slammed the coasts of Johor, Pahang, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

Torrential rain in the said areas is also forecast until Tuesday, December 17, while heavy downpour is expected in Sabah until Wednesday, December 18.

Featured image credit: Johor Fire and Rescue Department

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