| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Thousands displaced by floods in Malaysia

Authorities in Malaysia reported on Saturday that torrential rains had created flooding that had forced more than 11,000 people from their homes, closed dozens of roads, and hampered shipping.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a news conference late Saturday that more than 66,000 personnel from the police, army, and fire department had been mobilized around the country to help rescue individuals stranded by flood waters and transport them to shelters.

Floods are widespread in Malaysia during the yearly monsoon season, which runs from October to March, especially on the country’s eastern coast. The rain, which began on Friday morning and continued into Saturday, was particularly heavy in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populated state, which surrounds the capital Kuala Lumpur.

“It’s a bit chaotic in Selangor right now… in other states, preparations would be made earlier for the monsoon. But in Selangor, this happened almost suddenly,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that nearly 4,000 people in the state had been evacuated from their homes.

Authorities at Port Klang, the country’s largest harbour, said shipping operations were severely disrupted by the floods. Dozens of highways and roads were also closed.

Videos posted on social media showed overflowing rivers, landslides, and cars submerged on abandoned streets.

Ashraf Noor Azam, a 26-year-old resident from the Selangor district of Shah Alam, said he had not expected the situation to be so serious and had been forced to leave his car on the side of a highway.

“After four hours stranded without help, and the flood isn’t getting better, we decided to walk in the flood,” he said in a tweet with a video showing three people walking.

Eight of the country’s 16 states and federal territories saw water levels rising to dangerous levels on Saturday, according to a government website tracking flood developments.

The Meteorological Department warned that heavy rain in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and several states would continue until Sunday.

  • Reuters