At least four dead in floods and nearly 41,000 evacuated in Malaysia

At least four dead in floods and nearly 41,000 evacuated in Malaysia


At least four people have died and nearly 41,000 have been evacuated in Malaysia due to flooding caused by heavy rains in several states across the country, authorities said on Saturday.&nbsp ;

Police say at least four people have died since Wednesday, including a man trapped in his car that was washed away by the waves and an elderly couple who drowned.

A 68-year-old woman died also drowned near her flooded home, after leaving an evacuation center in the town of Segamat, in the southern state of Johor, bordering Singapore.

Around 41,000 residents of six states, mostly Johor, were evacuated to schools and community centers, where they received water, food and clothing.

Local media and social media images showed flooded streets, submerged cars, waterlogged houses and barricaded businesses.

The heavy rains continue, slowing relief operations.< /p>

The president of the Malaysian Nature Society, Vincent Chow, told AFP that these were the “worst floods in Johor” since 1969.

He said he received calls for help from villagers living 120 km away, but the only way to help them was by air.

In Yong Peng, a city in that state, AFP reporters saw a family moving around their house in knee-high brownish water, the children using inner tubes of tires as buoys to float on.

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Malaysia is facing an unprecedented episode of monsoon rains, the season of which began in November. In 2014, the country's worst ever flooding forced 118,000 people to flee their homes.

For Meenakshi Raman, president of Friends of the Earth Malaysia, the level of rainfall is “unusual” in this time of year.

According to her, deforestation and the disappearance of natural areas are responsible for soil erosion and favor the flooding of rivers during periods of heavy rain.

The Malaysian Meteorological Agency has warned that this rainfall event could continue until April.