Malaysia – Thousands Still Displaced After Second Wave of Flooding in Weeks

The National Agency for Disaster Administration (NADMA) says that over 5,000 people are still displaced after flooding in Sabah and several states in Peninsular Malaysia since 23 January, 2017.

Some states in Peninsular Malaysia had already experienced severe flooding during the first weeks of January. As many as 25,000 people evacuated their homes in Kelantan and Terengganu. Areas of neighbouring southern Thailand also suffered severely and latest reports say that 96 people have died in the flooding since the start of the year.

After the early January floods had mostly subsided, further heavy rains that began around 20 January 2017 caused yet more flooding in Kelantan and Terengganu, as well as other states in Peninsular Malaysia, including Johor, Pahang, Malacca, Selangor, and Perak and Sabah which appear to be the worst affected.

By 27 January around 15,000 people had been evacuated, with 6,541 in Sabah and 7,129 in Perak. Smaller numbers of evacuees were also reported in Kelantan (331), Pahang (41), Johor (356) and Selangor (331). No deaths have been reported and from 29 January most of the displaced were able to return home.

Bomba Malaysia flood rescue and relief operations in Hulu Terengganu. Photo: Bomba Malaysia

More Rain in February

However, according to a report (pdf) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the second week of February could bring further heavy rain and possible flooding.

IFRC says that “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.”

Rainfall Figures, 20 to 25 January, 2017

Below is a selection of significant rainfall figures from WMO for a 24 hour period.

25 January

  • Miri – 62.0 mm

24 January

  • Mersing – 70.8 mm
  • Penang / Bayan Lepas – 87.2 mm

23 January

  • Johore Bharu – 71.8 mm

22 January

  • Sandakan – 98.0 mm

21 January

  • Kota Bharu – 65.0 mm
  • Ipoh – 87.4 mm
  • Kuantan – 91.8 mm

20 January

  • Kota Bharu – 126.0 mm

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Flood summary

Last updated: February 15, 2017
Event
Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, January 2017
Date
January 20 to February 4, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Johor
B - Pahang
C - Malacca
D - Selangor
E - Perak
F - Sabah
G - Kelantan
H - Terengganu

Magnitude

Rainfall level
126 mm in 24 hours
Kota Bharu - January 19 to January 20, 2017
Rainfall level
87.4 mm in 24 hours
Ipoh - January 20 to January 21, 2017
Rainfall level
91.8 mm in 24 hours
Kuantan - January 20 to January 21, 2017
Rainfall level
98 mm in 24 hours
Sandakan - January 21 to January 22, 2017

Damages

Evacuated
15,000
January 20 to February 4, 2017
6,541 in Sabah and 7,129 in Perak. Smaller numbers of evacuees were also reported in Kelantan (331), Pahang (41), Johor (356) and Selangor (331)