12,000 displaced by floods in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – About 12,000 people in Malaysia have been evacuated from their homes, officials said on Sunday (Feb 27), after heavy rain caused flooding in the country’s northern states.

The tropical South-east Asian nation was hit by bouts of bad weather over the weekend, as continuous rain swamped towns on the peninsula’s east coast.

Malaysia often sees stormy weather at this time of year, with seasonal flooding regularly causing mass evacuations.

Official data showed 11,831 people housed in flood relief centres in the northern states of Kelantan and Terengganu as at 4.30pm local time on Sunday.

Addressing the recent flooding, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the authorities were being mobilised to evacuate victims.

“Many of those affected are being rescued and are taken to safer places,” he said in a Facebook post.

The Meteorological Department warned that bad weather was to continue in these states, with heavy rain also expected in much of the peninsula as well as in parts of Borneo island.

A warning was also issued for strong winds and stormy seas, particularly in the South China Sea and the northern tip of the Malacca Strait.

This recent downpour comes after heavy monsoon rains from mid-December to early January led to some of the country’s worst flooding in decades.

About 50 people were killed and 125,000 people were forced from their homes then, with the authorities recording more than US$1.45 billion (S$2 billion) in damage.

The Meteorological Department warned that bad weather was to continue in these states, with heavy rain also expected in much of the peninsula as well as in parts of Borneo island.

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