Malaysian officials announced Monday that more than 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes and at least seven people have died as a result of the country’s worst floods in years.
Rivers overflowed over the weekend, flooding towns and villages and closing off major roadways, trapping many people inside their vehicles for hours.
According to official data, the number of evacuees in the country increased to almost 51,000 on Monday, with the worst-affected location being the eastern state of Pahang, where 32,000 people were forced to flee their homes.
Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous state, which surrounds the capital Kuala Lumpur, has been severely impacted, which is uncommon because it usually avoids the brunt of the monsoon floods.
According to fire and rescue personnel cited in The Star newspaper, seven individuals have been confirmed dead in Selangor. The death toll is sure to rise as more people go missing.
A month’s worth of rain fell in one day in Selangor, according to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who added that tens of thousands of emergency service and military personnel were dispatched to aid rescue attempts.
Eyilavarasi Magesuaran, a student in Shah Alam, Selangor, remembered the moment her residence was flooded early Sunday.
“Water surged in from the back and rear, trapping us inside,” the 21-year-old told AFP, adding that her barking dog had warned her to the disaster.
“We were on the verge of drowning, and I was terrified. We’ve lived here since 1995 and have never had a deal with flooding.”
Her family was saved by a relative with a truck.
By Monday, the rains had mostly stopped, allowing locals to return to their ruined homes and pick up the pieces.
Floods affect the Southeast Asian nation every year during the monsoon season, but this year’s were the worst in years.
Flooding has become more severe as a result of global warming. Climate change increases the danger and intensity of flooding from intense rainfall because a warmer atmosphere contains more water.
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