Disasters & Accidents

Death toll from Malaysia’s worst flooding in century rises to 37

Bangkok, Dec 23 (EFE).- The worst flooding in a century has killed at least 37 people, inundated large parts of Malaysia, and displaced 68,000 people from their home, officials said Thursday.

The authorities have sheltered the displaced in evacuation centers, official Bernama news agency said.

Heavy rains that hit seven regions, including the capital Kuala Lumpur, last Friday and Saturday triggered the worst in the last 100 years floods amid fears that the calamity will recur in the future due to climate change.

Most of the deaths have occurred in Selangor and Pahang in the south of Malaysia.

The water level has since declined, giving rescuers better access to the worst-affected areas and recovering the bodies.

However, the water level in 23 areas, many of them close to river beds, remains “alarmingly high,” Police Inspector General Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said on Thursday.

The police officer said rivers were overflowing with floodwater, and “there could be a possibility of more floods in the coming days.”

Environment Professor Haliza Abdul Rahman of the University Putra Malaysia has said climate change was a major factor in the heavy rains that caused the flooding.

“Floods have been classified as an event that occurs every 100 years, but perhaps many incidents like this will occur again in the coming years,” Haliza told Channel News Asia.

Haliza said heavy rainfall has also caused disasters in China, Germany, and Turkey between July and August.

“Climate change causes extreme changes in weather patterns, temperatures and rainfall,” said the Malaysian expert.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Sunday $23 million in aid to repair homes and infrastructure damaged by floods.

Malaysia has two rainy seasons from May to September) and the other from October to March. EFE


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