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Malaysian Monsoon Floods Force 160,000 to Evacuate, Leave 8 Dead

Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 10:58 PM

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia evacuated more than 160,000 people and increased relief efforts as the worst floods in decades left at least eight people dead.

The affected states are Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Johor, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor, according to state news agency Bernama. The dead include an 18- month old toddler, The Star newspaper reported today.

Malaysia is grappling with floods caused by annual monsoon rains that may disrupt output of its key exports of palm oil and rubber. Prime Minister Najib Razak returned to Malaysia yesterday from the U.S. amid criticism for being on holiday while the nation contends with the flooding.

“The situation is most critical where the water level is still rising in some areas, and there are also areas which were never flooded previously, but are now facing serious floods,” Najib was cited by Bernama as saying at a press briefing yesterday in northeastern Kelantan state. “I strongly hope for cooperation from everyone to ensure that in the first phase, we can concentrate on rescue efforts and providing aid such as food, blankets, mats, candles and so on.”

The government has allocated an additional 500 million ringgit ($143 million) to help victims, after it earlier approved 50 million ringgit in aid, according to a report on The Star’s website citing Najib. These are the worst floods in Malaysia in 30 years, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying by New Straits Times newspaper.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry has mobilized more than 2,000 volunteers in eight flood-affected areas, with local fishermen assisting the armed forces in delivering aid, Bernama reported.

Local Fishermen

Palm oil had its biggest weekly gain since October on lower supply amid concerns that the harvest may be interrupted.

No outbreak of disease has been reported at evacuation centers since the flood hit Terengganu almost two weeks ago, Bernama reported yesterday, citing State Health, Women, Family and Community Development Committee Chairman Muhammad Pehimi Yusof. State power company Tenaga Nasional has temporarily shut 2,318 electrical substations in the flooded states, halting power supply to 150,852 users, according to a Dec. 26 statement from the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

Monsoon rains have also flooded parts of Thailand and Sri Lanka. In Thailand, at least eight people have died and two were missing after downpours in the four southernmost provinces, the Bangkok Post said, citing the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the region Dec. 26 and has declared the four provinces to be disaster zones, the report said.

In Sri Lanka, floods and mudslides have killed at least 17 people and marooned nearly 1 million, the PTI news service said yesterday, citing disaster management officials. The meteorological department has forecast weather conditions will get worse, with more rains likely, PTI reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Liau Y-Sing in Kuala Lumpur at yliau@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stanley James at sjames8@bloomberg.net Rina Chandran, Jim McDonald

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 
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Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 10:58 PM
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