Fatal floods strike south Malaysia

Officials warn that disease could spread after two die and thousands are evacuated.

    Some Malaysians are evacuating their
    homes for a second time [AFP]

    Rosli Othman, a resident of Kluang, one of the worst-hit areas in Johor said: "We had just finished cleaning up our house a few days ago and were resting when the floods came back.
     
    "Now we have to start all over again."
     
    State of emergency
     
    Johor is just across a narrow strait from Singapore, which has also been hit by days of heavy rain.
     
    Ramlee Rahmat, a health official, urged the public not to play in dirty flood water and to wear clothes that covered their bodies to prevent them from becoming infected.
     
    "But we are more concerned about food and water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera because those can spread fast. We are monitoring the situation," Ramlee said.
     
    Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister, said late on Friday that the government had not ruled out declaring a state of emergency in Johor if the floods worsened.
     
    The Meteorological Department said torrential rains in many parts of the state were expected to continue at least until Monday.
     
    The damage bill from last month's floods, which displaced more than 100,000 people, was estimated at more than $28 million.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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