Thousands displaced, several dead after monsoon rains bring worst floods in decades

Floods in Malaysia’s east coast after monsoon rains left at least six people dead and 50,000 people displaced.

The region experiences flooding and mass evacuations during the rainy season every year, but those in the affected areas said this year is the worst in decades.

The floods are being described as the worst floods in over half a century.

“We are very concerned for the safety and wellbeing of more than 50,000 people who have been evacuated and swamped by these terrible floods in the middle of a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. These floods are getting worse by the hour, turning large areas into inland seas,” said Malaysian Red Crescent Honorary Secretary General Haji Hakim Hamzah in a statement.

Pahang is the worst hit state where about 27,000 people have been evacuated. Villages in Pahang were cut off. forcing hundreds to swim to safety.

“I have lost everything. The water has covered my roof,” 59-year-old factory worker Tan Kong Leng told AFP news agency, tears filling his eyes.

Tan, the factory worker, and his wife took shelter at his plywood factory. They had just minutes to put their clothes in their car and flee to higher ground before the rapidly rising waters engulfed their home.

“I am sad. All my fittings and fixtures are destroyed. My biggest fear is that more rain will pour in the coming days. Look! There are dark clouds moving in fast,” he said.

In one of the heavily affected districts in Pahang, residents complained that narrow and rubbish-filled drains exacerbated the flooding.

The surge in coronavirus cases has delayed rescue efforts. Residents complained that they had to fend for themselves.