More than 300 moved to flood relief centres in Johor amid heavy rain

JOHOR BARU – A woman drowned in a Johor town on Saturday (Jan 2) after she fell into a large drain as her area flooded, even as more than 300 people in Malaysia’s southern state were moved into flood relief shelters.

Malaysia is experiencing the annual monsoon season, with the authorities warning on Saturday of heavy rain in five of the country’s 13 states.

In Kluang town in Johor, Madam Halijah Majid, 59, drowned after she slipped into a 1m deep drain near her home as she was making her way to a flood relief centre at around noon, said the district’s fire and civil defence chief, Assistant Commissioner Akob Sedek.

She is believed to be the first fatality of the monsoon season this year.

“Rescuers tied to revive her but she had passed away,” he said, according to Harian Metro online news.

The Johor state government has opened five temporary centres in three districts, with 348 flood victims arriving by Saturday afternoon.

“The flood was caused by continuous rain for more than eight hours aggravated by a high tide phenomenon,” Johor’s health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said in a statement.

The relief centres are in Johor Baru, Kota Tinggi and Kluang.

Pictures in Malaysia media showed flooded village roads and stranded cars in several places in Johor, while others showed people wading in knee-deep water outside their villages.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said heavy rains were expected over parts of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Sabah on Saturday.

These states are located by the South China Sea, which experiences heavy rainfall and strong waves during the monsoon season.

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