Malaysia flood: Death toll rises to 17; nearly 70,000 displaced

Kuala Lumpur: Another nine people have been reported dead, bringing the total deaths due to severe flooding in Malaysia to 17, authorities in Selangor state said.

Selangor state Chief Minister Amirudin Shari said at a press briefing more bodies have been found as floodwaters start subsiding, adding that the state government has mobilized all necessary resources to aid the victims, Xinhua news agency reported.

“At this time, our focus is to ensure search and rescue operations are carried out effectively and that they reach all who need it,” he said.

The number of displaced persons due to flooding in Malaysia has risen to over 69,400 in seven states plus the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur as of 10:00 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to data from the Malaysian social welfare department.

The worst-hit state is Pahang along the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, with over 42,000 people being evacuated to flood relief centers, followed by Selangor state with over 23,000 evacuated.

The country’s meteorological department has warned of more rain in the Peninsula Malaysia, with rain and storms expected in several states on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a meeting with chief ministers this morning that it was found that states such as Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang had been prepared to face the floods, especially during this time of the year, according to state news agency Bernama.

He said while east coast states have been prepared to face annual floods, the situation in Selangor state is unexpected, and acknowledged that there have been problems with the disaster management response.

“I don’t deny (the weakness) and will improve in the future. The responsibility is not that of the federal government alone, but also the state governments and the frontliners in the districts.”

“In Selangor, there is a problem. We are transparent about this, and I do not want to cover for anyone,” he said.

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