Floods in Malaysia displace more than 21,000 after heavy rains

Malaysian PM says rainfall on Friday and Saturday was equivalent to total monthly amount in normal conditions.

Rescue efforts are underway in Malaysia, where more than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised [Rozanna Latiff/Reuters]

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after torrential rains caused floods in Malaysia, the state news agency Bernama has reported.

Perak was the latest state to be hit by floods on Sunday, while the situation was worsening in six other states, causing at least 21,000 people to be evacuated to relief centres.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob late on Saturday told a media conference that the heavy rainfall that started Friday morning was equivalent to the total rainfall for a month in normal conditions.

The prime minister promised swift aid to flood victims as well as an initial allocation of 100 million ringgit ($23.7million) to repair damaged houses and infrastructure.

Rescue efforts were under way for those trapped in vehicles and outside of their homes, while reports from Saturday of those trapped at home have been resolved, he said.

More than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised.

Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer but found herself trapped with her two children and two grandchildren in a neighbouring suburb after rising waters made it impossible for the family to drive home on Saturday.

They were rescued by boat by a group of volunteers, who took them to safety more than 24 hours later. Yusof, who had lived in Shah Alam city in Selangor state for more than 30 years, said the floods were the worst she had ever seen.

“I’ve never experienced floods this bad. I want to go home but I’m not sure how we are going to get there,” she said. She remained unable to go home as roads to her neighbourhood were closed.

The Meteorological Department has downgraded Selangor from danger level to alert [Rozanna Latiff/Reuters]

While rainy weather has slowed nationwide, a government website showed water exceeding dangerous levels in six central and northeastern states on Sunday afternoon.

The Meteorological Department warned of a dangerous level of continuous torrential rain in Perak but has downgraded Selangor from danger level to alert.

Dozens of bus routes in and around the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, have been cancelled and train services leading to the port city of Klang were suspended.

Operations at three water treatment plants in Selangor were also disrupted by the floods, with taps expected to run dry for tens of thousands in parts of the state and the capital.

Malaysia’s worst flooding in decades took place in 2014, forcing some 118,000 people to flee.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies