People in South East Asia have been warned to prepare for more flooding, after days of heavy rain across the region that has killed dozens of people and displaced tens of thousands in Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Weather forecasters on Sunday warned that much of Malaysia will see more storms in the next three days; Thailand and Sri Lankan authorities also warned their people to brace for more floods.
“We expect another surge in heavy rain followed by strong winds brought by the seasonal northeast monsoon, which usually continues till March,” a Malaysian meteorological department official told AFP news agency.
According to officials, more than 200,000 people across the region have been left homeless because of the floods.
There are fears the death toll could rise as communities have been left stranded without food or medicine.
|Al Jazeera correspondents report the latest from Malaysia and Sri Lanka|
In Malaysia, eight people have reportedly been killed so far by the monsoon rains. The government on Sunday pledged more funds to help people hit by the country’s worst flooding in decades.
About $14m has been disbursed to manage relief centres. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin admitted rescuers were facing challenges amid power outages and roads being washed away by the floods.
The number of people evacuated topped 160,000 on Saturday, according to local media reports, a sharp increase from 100,000 a day before.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak reached Kelantan, the worst-hit state, after cutting short a vacation in the US.
Malaysians have vented their anger at Razak after the release of photos which went viral on social media showing him playing golf with US President Barack Obama during the storms.
In Thailand, the government has declared eight of its southern provinces disaster zones. Local media reports said that 13 people have been confirmed dead.
Thai authorities warned residents in at least seven southern provinces to brace for more flash floods in the coming days as rain shows no sign of letting up, local media reported on Saturday.
The zones are in Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Pattalung, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and also Trang, which has been flooded since mid-December.
In Sri Lanka, floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rain have killed at least 17 people with a further 15 people missing, according to police and officials.
The meteorological department issued a severe weather warning over the floods.