60,000 evacuated in Malaysian floods
Six people have died and over 60,000 have been evacuated from their homes following massive floods in Malaysia's southern region.india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 11:14 IST
Six people have died and over 60,000 have been evacuated from their homes following massive floods in Malaysia's southern region.
The victims were all from the southern state of Johor, which has been the hardest-hit by the rising waters, the Star daily said.
Malaysia's meteorological department has issued a Red Stage warning for people to brace for an emergency, following unusually high volumes of rainfall this year.
The warning has gone out for the eastern states of Kelantan and Terengganu, as well as southern states of Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca.
The department has also cautioned those living in the capital city to be prepared for flooding.
Authorities have been forced to evacuate over 60,000 people - 50,000 of whom are from Johor - to temporary relief shelters nationwide.
Most shops and supermarkets in Johor have run out of essential goods, due to hoarding by those fearful of a prolonged crisis, the report said.
Water levels at most districts in the state have already reached up to two metres above normal, causing extensive damage to infrastructure and minor landslides.
Floods have also cut off train services to most of the southern region.
The government has deployed thousands of fire and rescue personnel as well as equipment to aid the flood victims.
Every year in Malaysia, tens of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes during the rainy season and move into temporary shelters due to flooding.
According to critics, the annual floods are worsened by bad irrigation systems and polluted rivers and waterways.
First Published: Dec 22, 2006 11:14 IST