Deadly floods ravaged the small Asian nations of Malaysia and Thailand. So far, at least ten are dead in Malaysia and 14 in Thailand due to flood waters. Malaysia has been in the news recently due to the loss of Flight MH370, and now, more tragedy strikes the country.
More than 160,000 people have fled the high flood waters. Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Kelantan state, one of the worst-hit areas on Saturday. PM Razak recently returned from vacation in Hawaii where he and President Obama where photographed playing golf. His actions have been highly criticized, with some saying he was enjoying himself as the people of Malaysia faced the deadly, rising waters. PM Razak, however, did cut his time in Hawaii short to help oversee rescue efforts.
“I am deeply concerned by the floods,” he said in a statement. “I feel for the people who have lost their homes and their families who have lost loved ones.”
According to Huffington Post,the Prime Minister approved an additional 500 million ringgit ($134.32 million) to be spent on aid for flood victims after the flood water subsides. This amount is up from 50 million ringgit two days ago.
North Malaysia is often hit by heavy rains during the monsoon season. The Northeastern peninsula is no stranger to floods, but had been hit particularly hard this year.
According to The Telegraph, this is the worst flooding Malaysia has seen in the last 30 years.
“At least eight people died, having drowned when their rescue boat became trapped in a whirlpool and capsized.”
Many residents are left without electricity or fresh water. Malaysia’s exports of palm oil and rubber are also taking a hit from the deadly flood.
Unfortunately, the deadly floods will not soon subside. Reuters reports that meteorologists and the Malaysian government say Kelantan and southern Thailand will see rain for at least one more week. Thailand is also heavily affected by the flooding.
“An official in the southern Thai border town of Sungai Kolok said it would take up to two days for water levels to drop and for the border to be reopened.”
The deadly floods began mid-December, affecting 184,000 homes. Thousands sought shelter from the floods on high ground, including the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
The flood waters have reached up to six-foot-deep, leaving many Malaysian citizens and tourists stranded.
[Image via The Wall Street Journal]