PETALING JAYA - The worst is over for much of the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, with heavy monsoon rains that led to one of the country's worst ever floods finally easing off.
The Meteorological Department said the weather was gradually improving in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
However, heavy rains are likely to continue in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak due to the annual November to March north-east monsoon.
"The situation is improving in the east coast states and for this week, we are not expecting continuous rain in peninsular Malaysia," said department spokesperson Dr Hisham Mohd Anip.
In Kelantan, 39,295 or nearly half of the state's 81,458 evacuees were allowed to return home as floodwaters receded in many areas.
They were part of a total of 103,743 flood victims nationwide seeking shelter in evacuation centres in Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, Perak and Johor - a drop from 150,202 on Wednesday evening, according to Bernama.
Pahang now tops the list with the most number of evacuees at 45,366, followed by Kelantan (42,163), Terengganu (8,664), Perak (7,412) and Johor (138).
With the floodwaters receding, the relief effort is now shifting towards the repairing of damaged homes and infrastructure.
The damage to basic infrastructure in Kelantan is estimated at RM200mil, according to state flood disaster management director Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Berhad - working round the clock - has restored power supply in 60 per cent of the state.
In Terengganu, RM132mil is needed to repair roads damaged by the floods, said Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman.
The Federal Government has allocated RM96mil to repair 93 collapsed hill slopes along flood-damaged roads in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Perak, according to Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Some 5,000 Armed Forces personnel will be involved in the clean-up and other post-flood recovery work, with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein appealing for at least 10 times more the number of volunteers willing to join hands.
Umno's Wanita and Youth wings along with student movement Himpunan Mahasiswa Anak Kelantan have deployed more than 5,000 of their members to Kelantan to help in cleaning up the homes of flood victims.