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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Thousands of people displaced by floods in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR. Heavy rains in Malaysia have caused flooding that has left more than 11,000 people from their homes, closed dozens of roads and disrupted shipping, authorities said Saturday.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob said at a press conference late Saturday at press conferences across the country to help rescue people trapped in the floods and take them to the shelters of more than 66,000 police, army and fire brigade personnel.

Flooding in Malaysia is common during the annual monsoon season from October to March, especially on the east coast of the country. But the downpour, which began Friday morning and lasted until Saturday, hit hardest in the western state of Selangor, the richest and most populous region of Malaysia that surrounds the capital Kuala Lumpur.

“Selangor is a bit chaotic right now … other states will have a little bit of rainy season preparations. But in Selangor it happened almost overnight, ”Ismail Sabri said, adding that nearly 4,000 people in the state have been evacuated from their homes.

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Authorities in Port Klang, the country’s largest port, said shipping operations were severely disrupted by flooding. Dozens of highways and roads were also closed.

Videos posted on social media showed overflowing rivers, landslides and flooded cars on abandoned streets.

Ashraf Nur Azam, a 26-year-old resident from the Selangor district of Shah Alam city, said he did not expect the situation to be so serious and had to leave his car on the side of the highway.

“After four hours without assistance, when the flood is not improving, we decided to take a walk through the flood,” he said on Twitter with a video of the three walking.

Water levels rose to dangerous levels in eight of the country’s 16 states and federal territories on Saturday, according to a government flood-tracking website.

The Meteorological Department has warned that heavy rain in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and several states will continue until Sunday.

Rosanna Latiff and Liz Lee

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