Thousands Evacuated After Floods in Malaysia and Indonesia

Heavy rainfall in Borneo and Sumatra over the last 3 days has left parts of Malaysia and Indonesia struggling with yet more flooding. Malaysia is still recovering from the floods of December 2014 in the north of the country, which were some of the worst flooding seen in years.

floods sarwak malaysia
Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: BOMBA

Sarawak, Malaysia

In Borneo, over 5,000 people have been evacuated in the flood-hit state of Sarawak. This figure has dropped slightly from almost 7,000 earlier today. 38 relief centres have been set up to house those displaced by the floods.

The worst affected area is around the state capital of Kuching, where at one point almost 5,000 were staying in temporary accommodation. Just over 1,000 people have been displaced in Padawan.

One flood-related death has been reported in Mukah, when a teenage girl drowned after a boat capsized in rough waters.

Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: BOMBA
Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: BOMBA

Power Outages

The heavy rain has caused power outages in Limbang, Bau and Lundu after Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) said it had shut down several substations in areas affected by torrential rain

Flood Waters Receding but More Rain Forecast

Some reports say that the flood water have started to recede, at least in some places, allowing almost 2,000 to return to their homes. Malaysia’s Drainage and Irrigation Department say there are currently no rivers with water levels at the danger point.

The rainfall over the last 24 hours has been less intense. 64 mm of rain fell in Kuching in 24 hours yesterday, compared to over 250 mm the day before.

However, further heavy rainfall has been forecast for parts of Borneo, including parts of Sarawak, and the Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued Orange level severe weather warnings.

Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: BOMBA
Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: BOMBA

East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Just over the border from Sarawak, the Indonesian provinces of East and West Kalimantan has also been affected by heavy rain and flooding over the last 3 days. Over 160 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Putussibau yesterday, according to WMO.

Around 1,000 people have been evacuated in East Kalimantan after a river overflowed in the province.

Sumatra

Elsewhere in Indonesia, over 2,000 people have been evacuated in Aceh province after floods in South Aceh regency that first struck almost one week ago. Pidie Jaya regency has also been badly affected and 4,000 houses have been reportedly damaged as a result.