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Floods in Malaysia force 40,000 people to evacuate

BATU PAHAT, Malaysia: Floods resulting from days of torrential rain have forced nearly 40,000 people to flee their homes in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor, on the border with Singapore, and at least four people have died in the past week, officials said on Saturday.

“We used to always prepare for the rainy season in November and December,” said Mohd Noor Saad, a 57-year-old resident of Yong Peng town in Johor’s Batu Pahat district Reuters.

“Every household had a boat but now with the unpredictable weather we seem unprepared and it has gotten chaotic.”

Authorities have set up more than 200 temporary shelters for people displaced by the floods, the national civil protection agency said.

Flooding in Malaysia is commonplace during the annual monsoon season between October and March, but this week’s downpour has prompted many Johor residents to seek shelter.

Cafe worker Kabibah Siam, 54, carried her belongings out of her home in waist-deep water and said she was resigned to fending for herself during the floods.

“What can we do? We can’t complain about our fate because everyone is in the same boat here,” she said.

While Johor was hardest hit, other states also experienced flooding, displacing hundreds of people.

The weather authority of Malaysia warned of further rain in the coming days, especially in the southern states.

Floods in Malaysia force 40,000 people to evacuate, Crypto Trading News

A family wades through floodwaters after evacuating their home in a flooded area in Yong Peng, in the Malaysian state of Johor on Saturday. (Photo: AFP)

Malaysia has faced unprecedented torrential rains since the annual monsoon season, which began in November. The worst flooding in decades last happened in 2014, forcing around 118,000 people to flee their homes.

The Southeast Asian nation often experiences stormy weather towards the end of the year, with seasonal flooding regularly leading to mass evacuations and deaths.

– “Unusual” amount of rainfall –

But Meenakshi Raman, president of environmental group Friends of the Earth Malaysia, said the large amount of rainfall was “unusual” at this time of year and blamed the flooding on the lack of green space.

“Deforestation and land clearing in the headwaters of our rural areas, cities and towns mean that our rivers and drains are clogged by soil erosion and cannot accommodate the increased rainfall.

“In addition, overconcreting of areas also leads to water flooding, since little green remains as sponge.”

The Meteorological Department has warned that the rain could continue into April.

Some victims were fatalistic.

“We just accept whatever God has given. What can we do?” said Kabibah Siam, 54.

“We can’t whine about our luck because everyone is going through the same thing here.”

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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