34,000 evacuated as floodwaters continue to rise in Malaysia

34,000 evacuated as floodwaters continue to rise in Malaysia
Johor Civil Defence personnel unloading relief supplies for flood victims at Kampung Pogoh 2 Relief Centre in Segamat, Johor, on Wednesday. Annual flooding caused by the north-east monsoon costs the Malaysian government $357 million in damage each year.

Floods in Malaysia this year are shaping up to be one of the worst since 2007, with more than 34,000 people evacuated so far and water levels continuing to rise in Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

By on Wednesday evening, the Johor authorities had evacuated 8,402 people from districts in the north and east of the state - Mersing, Batu Pahat, Muar, Kota Tinggi, Kluang and Segamat - to 57 relief stations statewide.

"We are still evacuating a few hundred people or maybe more tonight," said a spokesman for the Johor disaster relief operations centre.

In Mersing, invigilators carrying test papers for Malaysia's equivalent of the O-level examination travelled by military vehicles to reach schools, as some routes were passable only to heavy vehicles, according to Bernama. However, officials said no students were prevented by the floods from sitting their exams.

Some delegates attending Umno's general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, however, left mid-way to return to their flooded east coast home towns, the New Straits Times reported.

In Pahang, 63,000 people were left without power as water flooded electrical substations.

The floods claimed its first victim on Monday night. A 17-year- old boy was swept away while fishing with his father in a river in Terengganu. Local media said a child is also missing.

The number of evacuees has nearly doubled from the same time last year. During the worst of the floods in December last year, about 22,000 people were moved from Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang. Seven people died.

One of the worst floods in recent memory took place in January 2007, when 118 people died. Nearly 100,000 were evacuated from Johor, Malacca, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan that year.

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