By Rozanna Latiff and Nur-Azna Sanusi
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Thousands of people in Malaysia have been displaced by flash floods following non-stop rainfall since Friday morning, officials said on Saturday.
Eight of the country’s 16 states and federal territories saw water levels rising to dangerous levels, according to a government website tracking flood developments.
In Selangor, the country’s wealthiest state surrounding capital Kuala Lumpur, more than 3,000 people were evacuated to temporary relief shelters, the state’s chief minister Amirudin Shari said in a statement.
Rainfall in the state had been more than double the previously highest recorded level, and flood levels had reached 4.5 metres in affected areas, Amirudin said, without saying when the previous record had been set.
He said 46 relief centres were in operation and victims would undergo free and regular COVID-19 screening.
The state fire department found 3,786 flood victims in Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang districts by the afternoon, its chief Norazam Khamis told Reuters.
Ashraf Noor Azam, a 26-year-old resident from the district of Shah Alam, said he had not expected the situation to be so serious and had been forced to leave his car on the side of a highway.
“After four hours stranded without help, and the flood isn’t getting better, we decided to walk in the flood,” he said in a tweet with a video showing three people walking from a toll booth.
The meteorological department warned that heavy rain in Selangor and several states would continue until Sunday.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Nur-Azna Sanusi; Writing by Liz Lee; Editing by David Holmes)