KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Seven states in Malaysia were hit by floods on Sunday and thousands of people were evacuated, taking the total affected by heavy rain in the last two weeks to over 125,000, the National Disaster Management Agency said.
The agency said in a statement that Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah were still affected by floods, and 8,727 people were taking shelter at 128 relief centres.
A total of 125,490 people have been affected by the floods nationwide, it said, of which 117,700 evacuees have returned home.
Floods are common on the eastern coast of Malaysia during the annual monsoon season between October and March, but unusually heavy rainfall that started on Dec. 17 displaced thousands and strained emergency services.
Fifty people have died in the floods, and two remain missing, according to a police tweet citing Inspector-General Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
Following the meteorological department’s warning of continuous heavy rains, the National Disaster Control Centre has issued a disaster operation preparedness notice.
The Department of Irrigation and Drainage also issued a warning of high tides between Jan. 2-5, and cautioned residents on the west coast in Peninsula Malaysia, the statement said.
Malaysia said it will provide 1.4 billion ringgit ($336.22 million) in cash aid and other forms of relief for those hit by severe flooding this month.
It is also seeking $3 million from the U.N. Green Climate Fund to develop a national plan to adapt to climate change.
($1 = 4.1640 ringgit)
(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill)