Volunteers rescue stranded flood victims from their homes inundated by flash floods caused by torrential rain in Shah Alam, Selangor state, Malaysia, December 19 2021. REUTERS/Rozanna Latiff

More than 21,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to flooding caused by torrential rains in Malaysia, state news agency Bernama said on Sunday.

Perak was the latest state to be hit by floods, with flooding worsening in six other states.

“Altogether, more than 21,000 people had been evacuated from their flooded homes to relief centres by noon,” the news agency reported.

Over 11,000 people were driven from their homes on Saturday, as heavy rainfall that started Friday morning caused dozens of road closures and disrupted shipping. 

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a media conference in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous region surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur, that 15,000 people there had been evacuated to over 100 relief centres.

He said the rainfall over the past day was equivalent to the total rainfall for a month in normal conditions.

Rescue efforts are still underway for those trapped in vehicles and outside of their homes, while reports from Saturday of those trapped at home have been resolved, he said.

More than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised to help rescue people stranded by flood waters and take them to shelters late on Saturday.

Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer but found herself trapped with her two children and two grandchildren in a neighbouring suburb, after rising waters made it impossible for the family to drive home on Saturday.

They were rescued by boat by a group of volunteers, who took them to safety more than 24 hours later. Rohkidah, who had lived in Shah Alam city in Selangor state for more than 30 years, said the floods were the worst she had ever seen.

“I’ve never experienced floods this bad. I want to go home but I’m not sure how we are going to get there,” she said, still unable to go home as roads to her neighbourhood were closed.

Selangor resident Mohammad Shahrul Azmir Selamat said his neighbourhood developed on higher grounds was spared the floods but access roads have been cut off.

“For the time being (supplies are) still okay, at the moment 10 trucks have arrived. Floods have receded in some areas and the victims already went home,” the 25-year-old who shot a dramatic drone footage told Reuters via text message.

The Meteorological Department warned of dangerous level of continuous torrential rain in Perak, but has downgraded Selangor from danger level to alert.

Ismail also announced that the government will allocated an initial sum of 100 million ringgit ($23.71 million) for house and infrastructure repairs, and will provide financial aid to affected households.


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