Malaysia: Help at hand for Johor flood evacuees

News and Press Release
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By Suhana Mohamed Salleh, Malaysian Red Crescent

Over 100 Malaysian Red Crescent staff and volunteers took action this week to assist victims of the Johor floods in the south of Malaysia. The flooding forced more than 24,000 people to seek refuge in 71 relief centres, and resulted in the death of four adults and one child.

Rapid response

With experience from the major floods of 2006 and 2007, the Malaysian Red Crescent was quick to respond. The National Society activated their disaster operations centre and placed trained volunteers on standby.

Assessment teams visited the affected areas to identify the needs of disaster victims, moving by boat as many of the towns were completely cut off by waters more than a metre deep.

The Malaysian Red Crescent set up its radio Communications Relief (CORE) at its Headquarters, manned by radio communications volunteers. With one unit stationed at MRC Johor Branch and one at Segamat, the National Society was quickly able to share the latest information from the ground.

Taking action

Following the assessment, the Malaysian Red Crescent teams began search and rescue, registration of displaced people and mass feeding in the relief centres. Working in cooperation with the State Government and Welfare Department and supported by donations of cash and relief items from corporate partners, the National Society provided basic necessities to people displaced by the waters. These included hygiene kits, mattresses, clean water, and mats.

Ten districts experienced flooding this week in Malaysia, Ledang and Batu Pahat the most severely affected. More than a week after the flooding started, over 9,000 people continue to take shelter at the relief centres.