Malaysian emergency services and volunteers save 21,000 people from flooding

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 19 (Reuters) – Ailing Malaysian emergency services, bolstered by civilian volunteers, rescued 21,000 people displaced by flooding from torrential rains in seven states on Sunday, officials and volunteers said.

More than 66,000 police, army and firefighters have been mobilized to help lift people from vehicles stranded in flood waters or from flooded streets outside their homes. Read more

The Bernama state news agency reported that a total of 21,000 people had been evacuated nationwide to rescue centers.

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As the rescue operations continued, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters in Selangor, Malaysia’s richest and most populous state and one of the hardest hit, that 15,000 people had been killed. evacuated to more than 100 rescue centers.

He said the precipitation on the last day was equivalent to a month’s total under normal conditions.

After reading the pleas of those trapped by the flood waters on Twitter, rescue volunteer Mohamad Adib Hariz Fadzilah rushed to a camping supply store to purchase kayaks and life jackets while sending out requests for help. help via social networks.

Volunteers rescue flood victims stranded from their flash flood-flooded homes caused by torrential rains in Shah Alam, Selangor state, Malaysia, December 19, 2021. REUTERS / Rozanna Latiff

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“I learned that some people (from the emergency services) were also buying supplies from here. It shocked me that they too didn’t have enough equipment, ”he said.

Mohamad Adib then headed with other volunteers to the town of Selangor of Shah Alam to help rescue the trapped residents, but said government help was slow in arriving.

Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer in Shah Alam with two children and two grandchildren in tow when rising waters cut their way home on Saturday.

“I have never experienced such severe flooding. I want to go home but I don’t know how we’re going to get there,” she said.

Another Selangor resident, Mohammad Shahrul Azmir Selamat, said his Hulu Langat neighborhood was spared from flooding because it was on higher ground but the access roads were flooded.

“At the moment (the supplies are) still in good condition, 10 trucks have arrived. The floods have receded in some areas and the victims have already returned home,” he told Reuters by text.

Malaysia’s meteorological department withdrew its nationwide heavy rain warning on Sunday evening.

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Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur, Angie Teo in Jakarta; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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