16 000 evacuated in Malaysia floods

2012-12-27 10:30
Malaysian rescuers retrieve the body of a man, who drown in a flooded irrigation canal, in Kuala Terengganu, state capital of Terengganu, Malaysia. (AP)

Malaysian rescuers retrieve the body of a man, who drown in a flooded irrigation canal, in Kuala Terengganu, state capital of Terengganu, Malaysia. (AP)

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Kuala Lumpur — Flooding sparked by heavy seasonal rains has killed two people and forced nearly 16 000 to flee their homes on Malaysia's east coast.

Authorities have evacuated residents of numerous villages and towns to higher ground in three Malaysian states that are prone to torrential rains between November and February.

Flood monitoring centres said 15 993 people were living in schools, community halls and other relief centres on Thursday.

Two casualties have been reported since waters submerged low-lying neighbourhoods early this week. Malaysian media identified them as a woman who drowned while fishing near a flood-swollen river and a 15-year-old boy swept away by strong currents after he slipped from a boat.

Officials have forecast more rain this week in the three eastern states but said conditions could ease by early January.

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