Malaysia death toll up to 10, fears of fresh flooding

KUALA LUMPUR- Ten people have been killed in Malaysia's worst flooding for 30 years and over 219,000 displaced from their homes, local media reported Tuesday, with residents worried about further inundation.

While the waters were beginning to recede Tuesday, more bad weather was forecast over the next two days, with intermittent to heavy showers predicted for the northeastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

The region is regularly hit by flooding during the annual monsoon, between November and March, but this year's storms have been unusually powerful.

"In my 42 years of living in Kelantan, I have never witnessed such a storm and destruction," said Ee Su Chuong, 42, the owner of an auto repair shop in Kota Bharu in Kelantan - the worst-hit state.

"But our fear is there could be another fresh round of flooding. We are certainly worried." Ee also said that electricity had not been fully restored in Kota Bharu.

As waters receded, images of overturned vehicles and victims returning to their homes to salvage their belongings were splashed across local newspapers.

Another area badly affected by the storm is Kuala Krai district, also in Kelantan - one of Malaysia's poorest states - where thousands of homes are totally submerged.

"I hope there isn't a third wave like people have been saying," Kuala Krai resident Maznah Abdul Rahman, 55, was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail.

Prime Minister Najib Razak - who has come under fire for what was seen as the government's slow response to the crisis - announced an additional 500 million ringgit (S$190 million) assistance after touring parts of Kelantan over the weekend.

Najib also ordered all his cabinet ministers to return to work, cutting short their traditional year-end holidays to manage the flooding crisis.

Truck drivers have complained of diesel shortages as many petrol stations have been submerged. At relief centres, workers are struggling to cope with a lack of clean water and unsanitary conditions.

The government has postponed the start of the school year by one week in light of the floods.