Floods overrun Malaysia states, emergency services, volunteers rescue 21,000

By AdvocateNews on 20/12/2021

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Thousands of people in Malaysia have been displaced by floods following non-stop rainfall since Friday morning. 

The states affected included Selangor, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka but the most affected states were Selangor in peninsular Malaysia west coast region.

More than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised nationwide to help rescue people stranded by flood waters and take them to shelters, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a news conference late on Saturday.

Floods in Malaysia are common during the annual monsoon season between October and March, particularly on the country’s eastern coast.

But the downpour that started on Friday morning and continued into Saturday hit worst in the western state of Selangor – Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous region surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Hard-pressed Malaysian emergency services, reinforced by civilian volunteers, on Sunday rescued 21,000 people displaced by flooding from torrential rain in seven states, officials and volunteers said. 

State news agency Bernama reported that a total of 21,000 people had been evacuated nationwide to relief centres.

As rescue operations continued, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier told reporters in Selangor, Malaysia's wealthiest and most populous state and one of the hardest hit, that 15,000 people there had been evacuated to more than 100 relief centres.

He said rainfall over the past day was equivalent to the total for a month in normal conditions.

After reading pleas on Twitter from those trapped by floodwaters, rescue volunteer Mohamad Adib Hariz Fadzilah rushed to a camping supplies store to buy kayaks and life jackets while also sending out requests for help via social media.

"I learned that some of the (emergency services) people were also buying supplies from here. It was shocking to me that they too didn't have enough equipment," he said.

Mohamad Adib then headed with other volunteers to the Selangor city of Shah Alam to help rescue trapped residents but said government assistance was slow to arrive.

Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer in Shah Alam with two children and two grandchildren in tow when rising flood waters cut off their route home on Saturday.

"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.

Another Selangor resident, Mohammad Shahrul Azmir Selamat, said his Hulu Langat neighbourhood was spared flooding as it stood on higher ground but access roads were inundated.

"For the time being (supplies are) still okay, 10 trucks have arrived. Floods have receded in some areas and the victims already went home," he told Reuters via text message.

Posted 20/12/2021 05:13:16 AM


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