KUALA LUMPUR – Military forces were deployed on Sunday to help thousands of displaced people in Malaysia’s northern state of Penang, officials said, as floodwater rose from more than 24 hours of incessant rain.
At least 2,000 people had been evacuated and 80 percent of the state was hit by typhoon-like winds and heavy rain, chief minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement.
He said floodwater had risen to 3-4 metres (10-12 feet). Lim also warned in a Facebook post that more rain was expected and advised residents to stay at home.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the National Security Council was coordinating with police and the military to assist flood victims after a request for assistance from Penang.
Hundreds of trees were toppled and roads were submerged, leaving many areas practically paralysed, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported. At least two people had been killed, it said.
“We remain fearful that there may still be untoward incidents because of the strong winds, the like of which have never been experienced before, and flash floods might recur,” Lim told reporters in Penang, according to Bernama.
Hundreds of people had been placed in temporary shelters after their homes were flooded or destroyed by the storm.
Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Paul Tait; firstname.lastname@example.org ; +60323338047; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com