Malaysia: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRMY006


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Sabah state in Malaysia had been experiencing heavy rainfalls since 20 May 2021, causing two districts (Beaufort and Tenom) being inundated by floods. The rain was nonstop for a few days resulting in two rivers collision between the Pagalan River and the Padas River. People fled from their homes and evacuated to the temporary shelters. The total number of people affected by flood have reached to 1,552 families (5,782 people) in those two districts. No casualties reported based on the released information from Social Welfare Department (JKM) as of 25 May 2021. The government has opened 39 temporary shelters in these two districts, and provided food, water and blanket to the affected people. Other local NGOs and private sectors also provided water and food for the people in the temporary shelters. Click here to see the map of affected areas.

Villages affected by the flood have been covered by water since 20 May 2021, and the water was slowly rising due to heavy rainfall up to 26 May in the affected areas. A total of 47 villages in Tenom and 75 villages in Beaufort were affected by the floods.

The houses are covered by muds, but no heavy damages reported due to this flood. People reported their household appliances and furniture were broken or damaged. The farmlands and plantations were destroyed due to the flood. This flood is unprecedented, as the usual monsoon season is between November to February. Considering the overstretched capacity of the government to provide support to the affected people due to the current overwhelming response to COVID-19, the government requested MRCS to support the affected people.

Currently, Malaysia is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 cases, especially in the past two weeks, with total cases of 549,514 and Sabah state has the second highest number COVID-19 cases in the country with total 61,274 cases as of 27 May 2021. The Government of Malaysia stated that the current intensive care units (ICUs) occupancy in the whole country has reached 91 per cent. The government recently declared a third full Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) for the whole country due to the spike of the COVID-19 cases. People in Sabah already has limited access to their livelihoods’ activities due to the MCO, and with the current flood, they were not able to get engaged in their livelihoods’ activities. This has resulted in either no income or reduced income for households in Beaufort and Tenom. Additionally, due to inundation of farmlands, they will not undertake farming activities.