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At least eight dead in Malaysian floods

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 11:37 IST
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The death toll from floods in Malaysia has risen to eight with the death of an Indonesian worker, while the search for a missing youth continues, police said on Tuesday.

Police in Kluang district in the southern Johor state identified the latest victim as Abdul Wahid, 29, from Semerang, Indonesia.

His body was found near a palm oil estate, the official Bernama news agency said.

Security officials are continuing their search for a 17-year-old. He was reported missing a few days ago by his family.

Flood waters in most affected areas have subsided but it continues to rain with many displaced people returning to their damaged homes.

Across Malaysia the number of evacuees had fallen to 47,481 with some 40,593 remaining at relief centres in Johor, neighbouring Singapore.

The others are in central Pahang state and in Malacca, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department said the heavy rainfall that began on December 17 was due to intense winds sweeping across the South China Sea.

Victims now face a lack of piped water and months without electricity, officials said on Monday.

"I just returned home today (Tuesday) after being holed up for a week at a relief centre.

But there is no water to clean the house filled with mud and dirt," Salwah Atan, 45, who lives in Anjung Batu Dalam Village, Muar, told the agency.

"We want to get on with our lives. Please give us water as soon as possible," she said.

"What can we do with this small amount of money? All my household electrical items have been damaged. I am sad," she said.

Salwah attributed to the flash foods in Johor, the worst she could remember, to exploitation of the environment and poor development planning.

"The environment is being destroyed and development lacks proper planning," she said.

S Subramaniam, government lawmaker in Segamat said authorities have embarked on an intensive clean-up of the town.

"There is some 200,000 tons of rubbish we need to remove. We do not want to promote the spread of diseases," he told the agency.

Subramaniam defended criticisms against poor urban planning for cause of the floods, saying: "It is one in 50 years. It (the floods) is unnatural. We can plan but not for such rare floods."

The meteorological department Tuesday said Johor and coastal parts of Pahang would experience rain until the end of the month.

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