Heavy rains continue in Malaysia since the seasonal rains began to make its mark in the northern states of the western peninsula from the end of December 2016. Two information bulletins on this developing situation had been issued earlier: on 5 January 2017 (IB n°1) and 17 January 2017 (IB n° 2). Significantly heavy rains from 23 January 2017 have caused flooding in seven states in Peninsular Malaysia, namely, Johor, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu, Malacca, and Selangor, and Sabah in East Malaysia. The floods have temporarily displaced about 12,000 families across the country. The situation following the Chinese New Year weekend (28-29 January) saw water receding in several affected districts and families are returning to their homes. At least 80 per cent of the evacuees in the affected areas have returned home in all affected states.
Nevertheless, the Malaysian Meteorological Department METS services is forecasting more rains in Peninsular Malaysia in the second week of February. Despite the fact that water levels in the flooded areas have receded, the condition of major rivers in Pahang, Kelantan, Johor and Perak is still at critical level which could cause another flooding with more rain. The government authorities, in particular the National Agency for Disaster Administration (NADMA) has taken precautionary efforts to ensure that response teams are ready for the second cycle of flooding in these areas.
Action by the authorities
The National Agency for Disaster Administration (NADMA), the army, the police and other local government agencies have conducted evacuations, established emergency shelters, operationalized evacuation centresand continue to provide relief assistance to affected families. The authorities have deployed the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) in the affected areas to carry out search and rescue operations in highly inundated areas. Furthermore, the relevant District Offices are coordinating all humanitarian activities at district level working closely with NADMA, the civil defence, the police and the armed forces in these affected areas. In accordance with the Policy and Mechanism of National Disaster Management and Relief set out by the National Security Council (known as Directive No. 20), the District Offices are responsible in evacuating the flood victims to evacuation centres while other agencies and voluntary bodies, including the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, have roles defined in relief and recovery efforts.