Thousands flee Malaysia floods

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KUALA LUMPUR – Floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains in Malaysia forced almost 14,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter at relief centers, the official Bernama news agency said Wednesday.

Rain showers which coincided with high tide flooded hundreds of homes in three northeastern states — Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan — with some 13,746 people being housed at evacuation centers, it said amid forecasts of more rain.

Bernama said the flood situation was deteriorating as the number of evacuees continued to rise and some major roads in Pahang were closed as rivers burst their banks.

Muhammad Helmi Abdullah, the meteorological department’s weather forecast director, warned that there could be more rain in Terengganu, Pahang and southern Johor state in the next few days.

“We expect intermittent rain to heavy showers in (some parts of) the states,” he told AFP.

Muhammad Helmi said the northeast monsoon season would last until March and the affected states could experience at least three more “heavy rain” episodes.

Meanwhile a 36-year-old woman drowned after she slipped and fell into a rain-swollen river in Terengganu state on Tuesday while fishing in a water-logged area, Bernama said.

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