South East Asia – 25,000 Hit by Floods in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand

Around 25,000 people have been affected and thousands of homes damaged after recent flooding in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Floods in Bengkulu Indonesia November 2020. Photo: BPBD Kota Bengkulu


The Department of Irrigation and Drainage in Malaysia reported that over 550mm of rain fell in Marang district of Terengganu State from 23 to 25 November. As of 27 November, the Kemaman and Tebak rivers in the state were both above danger levels.

Malaysia’s disaster agency, Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA), reported 361 people were displaced by floods in Terengganu State from 23 November. The coastal district of Dungun is the worst affected area.

Flooding struck in Perak State a few days earlier. As of 24 November, 221 people were still displaced, mostly in Hilir Perak District.

As of 27 November, 57 people were in emergency accommodation after flooding in Jasin District, Melaka State and around 30 people in Selangor state, where the Damansara river is also above the danger mark in Petaling district.


Meanwhile across the Malacca Strait from Malaysia, further heavy rain has affected parts of Sumatra Island of Indonesia, with severe flooding reported in Jambi Province in particular.

In Sarolangun Regency, flooding has damaged 1,417 homes, affecting 7,085 people, according to the country’s disaster agency BNPB.

Heavy rain from around 19 November caused the Tembesi river to break its banks in Sarolangun. Flood water was almost 1 metre deep in some areas. BNPB say there is an urgent need for food and temporary shelter for those affected. Around 500 hectares of crops, as well as schools and a health centre were all damaged.

Further heavy rain fell in the area on 23 November, damaging more homes in Sarolangun and affecting a further 524 people.

On the same day, heavy rain affected Merangin Regency of Jambi Province, affecting 4,605 people and damaging 921 houses. Authorities said the Tabir, Mensango and Mao rivers all broke their banks.

During the same time, flooding struck Bengkulu City in Bengkulu Province, damaging 482 homes and affecting 2,410 people. Authorities said drainage channels in the city were blocked with garbage and unable to cope with the heavy rainfall. Indonesia’s met agency BMKG reported 150mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 24 November in Bengkulu City.

On 24 November, flooding struck Padang Pariaman Regency in West Sumatra Province, affecting 785 people and damaging 157 homes. BMKG reported 144mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 26 November in Batang Anai in Padang Pariaman. Earlier flooding on 20 November displaced 261 people in Padang Pariaman.

Also on the island of Sumatra, flooding and landslides were reported in Subulussalam city in Aceh province on 26 November after heavy rain. Authorities report a total of 3,437 people affected and 925 homes damaged.

Further east in Indonesia, on the island of Kalimantan, floods and heavy rain damaged around 500 homes in Seruyan Regency on 23 November. As many as 240 people were displaced and a total of 2,855 people affected.


Southern and central parts of Thailand also saw severe weather during this period, including thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain.

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reported around 2,000 people from 268 households were affected by flash floods in Kanchanaburi, Phuket, Songkhla and Yala provinces.

Thai Met Department reported 140.4mm of rain in Hat Yai District, Songkhla on 21 November.

Stormy weather and strong winds also caused damage in Singburi and Samut Sakhon Provinces.