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Malaysia floods force tens of thousands to evacuate

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2022-12-21T09:15:27Z

Widespread flooding swept across large areas of Kelantan and Terengganu, two states along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, after days of continuous heavy rainfall, video taken on Monday (December 19) showed.

Malaysian towns were left inundated with muddy water in the wake of torrential rains, footage shared on social media and verified by Reuters showed on Wednesday, forcing more than 72,000 people to evacuate as rainfall and floods were forecast to persist.

At least two people have died as floods hit five states this week, and authorities have set up hundreds of relief shelters as the number of people displaced grows.

Videos on social media showed brown water gushing into fields and streets, submerging cars and causing rivers to breach their banks. Emergency responders were seen wading in waist-deep water to rescue victims.

The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) has warned of more floods in the comings days as the monsoon season, which lasts from October to March, carries on. Authorities urged residents to evacuate if possible.

Experts have said rapid urbanisation and conversion of forests into settlements and industrial agriculture have made even inland areas, including capital city Kuala Lumpur, increasingly vulnerable to extreme floods as rainstorms intensify due to climate change.

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Residents are rescued by a boat from the flood relief centre as the flood water rise and partially submerged the building at Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia December 21, 2022. More than 70000 were forced into relief centres, with numbers rising in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, according to local media. REUTERS/Stringer

Residents are rescued by boats from the flood relief centre as the flood water rise and partially submerged the building at Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia December 21, 2022. More than 70000 were forced into relief centres, with numbers rising in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, according to local media. REUTERS/Stringer

An aerial view shows flooded neighbourhoods in east-coast of peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia, December 19, 2022, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Facebook/Korporat JBPM/via REUTERS

An aerial view shows a flooded neighbourhood in east-coast of peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia, December 19, 2022, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Facebook/Korporat JBPM/via REUTERS

An aerial view shows flooding in east-coast of peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia, December 19, 2022, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Facebook/Korporat JBPM/via REUTERS
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