Devastating Malaysia Floods: Worst Affected Areas and Impact on Communities

After days of rain caused flooding that affected thousands and claimed the lives of at least four people.

Over the past day, the flood situation in Peninsular Malaysia has become direr. Over 30,000 people from the states of Johor, Pahang, Malacca, and Negeri Sembilan have fled to emergency shelters, according to the country’s disaster officials. Over 26,000 of them live in the state of Johor. 

Reports from the state news agency Bernama indicated that as of 8 a.m. on Monday, nearly 50,000 people had been impacted by the floods.

Many states experienced heavy rainfall.  On February 28, areas of Kulang District recorded 257 mm of rain and Segamat 219 mm of rain. Over 400 millimeters of rain fell in 24 hours on March 01 at Segamat, Mersing, and Muar.

In the past day, significant destruction has occurred in the state of Pahang. On March 01, districts including Jerantut, Maran, Pekan, Raub, and Rompin received 418 mm of rain within 24 hours, causing over 1,500 people to flee their homes by March 02.

About fifty people have been forced to leave their houses in Alor Gajah and Jasin in Malacca. More than 900 people have been evacuated from their homes in Negeri Sembilan’s Jempol, Kuala Pilah, and Tampin districts.

As a result, shelters for refugees have been set up in Batu Pahat, Johor Bahru, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Kulai, Mersing, Muar, etc. Pontian, Segamat, and Tangkak. Approximately 8,000 residents in Segamat and over 5,000 in Kluang have been forced to leave their homes. As reported by the local media, one person lost their life when their car was washed away by floodwaters.

Johor, a state in the south of Singapore, suffered some of the worst damage. On Sunday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim visited Johor to meet with flood victims and promised to improve flood prevention efforts there. He tweeted that, “this situation cannot be delayed and should be dealt with more seriously” to prevent future flooding.

The prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, visited a flood relief center in the worst-affected state on Sunday, March 05, after which he announced that flood prevention measures, particularly in Johor, would be hastened and needed to begin in June.

He emphasized the importance of quickly awarding project contracts because flooding is a chronic issue.

“If we don’t take it seriously, we shall have to deal with this (flood) problem again.” He addressed the press, “This is not the first time; it has been happening for years, and sometimes twice a year.

He concluded that they must move quickly on massive flood protection projects costing a minimum of RM600 million (US$134 million).

Mr. Anwar stated that six flood mitigation projects were delayed to prevent allocation leaks that would have prevented them from helping the people.

Despite thousands of people seeking safety in emergency shelters, Mr. Anwar has remained steadfast on his government’s decision not to declare a state of emergency in Johor.

He said the government decided against declaring an emergency because the rain had stopped and flood waters had receded in certain areas.

It was concluded during a Cabinet meeting on Friday that there was no need for Johor to be placed under a state of emergency due to flooding.

He visited a relief center at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kampung Tengah. He reassured reporters that a disaster emergency did not need to be proclaimed at this time, although flood waters remained stationary in some areas.

Since the annual monsoon season began in November, the Meteorological Department has reported that the country has been witnessing its sixth incident of continuous heavy rain. In December, floods forced the migration of tens of thousands more.

Images posted on social media showed people cleaning up flood-damaged houses, offices, and clinics, with belongings and furniture piled on the side of the road.

Malaysians are now engaged in the task of cleaning up the affected areas.

Malaysia is prone to devastating floods that can cause loss of life, property damage, and interruption of daily life. Building flood mitigation infrastructure, enhancing early warning systems, and promoting sustainable land use practices are only some initiatives the government and other organizations have undertaken to solve the problem.

Despite these measures, flooding remains a significant problem for Malaysia; more time and money are needed to reduce its effects and protect the lives of the people there.