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Worst flooding in 50 years leaves 6 dead, 50 000 displaced in Malaysia

malaysia-flood-january-2021

At least six people lost their lives and more than 50 000 were displaced after monsoon rains hit Malaysia's east coast, triggering the area's worst flooding in half a century, authorities reported Saturday, January 9, 2021.

Heavy rains continued to slam the region, causing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. While flooding hits the area during the rainy season every year, residents in the affected areas described this year's inundation as the worst in decades.

Many roads have been shut, including the main expressway that connects the east coast states.

The worst affected state is Pahang, where around 27 000 people have been displaced in the past days, the social welfare department said. People in the area complained that narrow and trash-filled drains contributed to the disaster.

In one village cut off by waters, people had to ride an excavator as they abandoned their homes, while others were left to swim through deep waters.

"I have lost everything. The water has covered my roof," a 59-year-old resident named Tan Kong Leng told AFP news agency.

"I am sad. All my fittings and fixtures are destroyed. My biggest fear is that more rain will pour in the coming days. Look! There are dark clouds moving in fast."

Mentakab resident Muhammad Fadzil Wahab said he and others have formed their own patrol units to prevent break-ins. "We scout the entire flooded village at night with our small boats and torch lights."

"My family members are safe at the evacuation centers," he continued.

"We are very concerned for the safety and wellbeing of more than 50 000 people who have been evacuated and swamped by these terrible floods in the middle of a worsening COVID-19 pandemic," said Malaysian Red Crescent Honorary Secretary General Haji Hakim Hamzah.

"These floods are getting worse by the hour, turning large areas into inland seas," Hamzah added.

Featured image credit: IFRC Asia Pacific

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