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Floods cause 14 deaths in Malaysia

  • The monsoon is leaving heavy rainfall, already described as the worst in a century

At least 14 people have died while more than 39,000 remain displaced due to flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains during over the weekend in several states in Malaysia, authorities said Tuesday. The rescue services located seven bodies in different places this Monday, in addition to those found during the weekend, which brings the total number of deaths to 14, according to the Bernama agency.

Heavy rains since Friday have been described as the worst in 100 years. The number of people who have had to be evacuated continues to increase and stood at more than 39,000 this morning , according to a spokesman for the Civil Defense Forces, quoted by the New Straits Times newspaper. Authorities acknowledged that they are concerned about a possible increase in COVID-19 cases among the thousands of people in temporary shelters.

Despite the fact that it has not rained for more than 24 hours, new floods continue to occur due to the overflowing of rivers in the low-lying areas, so a call has been made for residents to be prepared to leave their homes at any time, according to the spokesperson. Numerous roads have been closed and thousands of people trapped in their homes and vehicles due to the floods. Heavy rains and floods have also affected some terminals in the Klang seaport, the most important in the country.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Sunday 23 million dollars (about 21 million euros) in aid for repairing homes and infrastructures damaged by floods. More than 66,000 police, soldiers and firefighters participate in emergency and rescue tasks for people trapped by the floods, which in Selangor alone have caused at least 15,000 displaced persons.

Malaysia has two rainy seasons: one caused by the southwest monsoon (May-September) and the other by the northeast monsoon (October-March), the most severe and generally affecting the eastern part of the Malay Peninsula and Borneo.

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