Bangkok (EFE).- At least 51,200 people have been evacuated due to floods in the south of the Malaysian peninsula, which have claimed four lives, the authorities said Monday.
The southwestern Johor state is the worst hit with more than 47,600 people housed in 270 temporary shelters, the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) said in its latest update.
The police have reported four deaths, all in Johor, which is the country’s second most populated state with 4 million inhabitants, The Malaysian Insight news outlet reported.
The Johor authorities are monitoring more than a dozen rivers flowing above the danger level although they say that the waters have begun to recede in some affected districts and hundreds of evacuees have been able to return to their homes.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Johor on Sunday and vowed to speed up aid and mitigation projects.
“This matter (of the floods) cannot be delayed and should be dealt with more seriously so that it does not happen again,” he said on Twitter.
The regional government said over the weekend that it was gearing up to conduct a massive clean-up and reconstruction operation although it has not specified how many houses and infrastructures have been affected by the disaster.
Some 3,000 people have also been affected by floods in Pahang, where around 20 temporary shelters have been set up, and more than 600 in Malacca, which has six evacuation centers.
Residents of the states of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, on the mainland, and Sarawak, on the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo, who were affected last week, have returned to their homes.
Malaysia has two rainy seasons, one caused by the southwest monsoon between May and September and the other by the northeast monsoon between October and March, which is more severe and generally affects the eastern part of the peninsula and Borneo.
A total of 54 people lost their lives between December 2021 and January 2022 in the worst floods to hit the country in decades, causing damage estimated at RM6.5 billion (over $1.45 billion). EFE