More than 16,000 evacuated as Malaysian floods worsen

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Kuala Lumpur_(dpa) _ More than 16,000 Malaysians have evacuated their homes as flood waters continued to rise following incessant rainfall in six states, news reports said Wednesday.

The onslaught of the annual year-end monsoon season, which typically lasts until early January, has forced 16,105 people to stay in 1,412 temporary evacuation centres until water levels subside, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil.

The north-eastern state of Terengganu has been the worst hit so far, with almost 7,500 people displaced.

Other states badly affected by the rising water levels are neighbouring Kelantan, Perak and Kedah, as well as Pahang state in the centre of the country and Johor in the south, Shahrizat was quoted as saying by the Star daily.

Shahrizat said the government would continue ensuring that the hygiene level at all the shelters was well maintained to avoid the spread of diseases.

Tens of thousands of people have already been moved and then returned to their homes in batches since last month when heavy rainfall closed roads and disrupted train services in the affected coastal states. dpa jy se

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