Flood hits two states in Malaysia, train stranded

08:49, January 31, 2011      

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Continuous rain has caused floods in several districts in the states of Pahang and Johore in Peninsula Malaysia, stranding also the train that was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore.

According to the official, the train carrying more than 1,000 passengers was forced to stop in Kluang, a district in Johore, the southernmost state in Peninsula Malaysia, Sunday afternoon as the rail tracks were flooded.

While floods brought about much inconvenience to local residents, voters in Tenang, a state constituency that falls under the Segamat district in the Johore State, felt much more pain as a by-election was being held on Sunday.

The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department has deployed a number of boats to ferry the voters to the polling stations so that the people can assume their responsibility to cast their votes.

However, there were politicians from the opposite camp criticizing the authority for refusing to bring the opposition supporters to the polling stations, resulting in an unfair election whose result was questionable.

Malaysian Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that a total of eight relief centers had been opened in Labis, the parliamentary constituency under where Tenang falls, to accommodate some 1,300 evacuees.

The highest level of heavy rain alert was issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department to several districts in the Johore State, informing the people of possible floods at low lying areas. Weather is expected to improve on Monday.

In the state of Pahang in the central part of the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, a second highest (yellow) level rain warning has been issued to at least five districts, of which, two have seen villagers evacuating.

The meteorological department said the rain, occasionally heavy, occurring in the Pahang State was expected to continue until Monday.

Fishermen are disallowed to go to sea, while all sea activities have been ordered to stop as the 60-kilometer-an-hour strong wind will cause waves that are as high as 5.5 meters, agitating the sea surface and threatening the safety of fishing boats.

The department said due to strong northeastern monsoon winds, it was normal for Peninsula Malaysia, especially the states in the east coast, to receive more rain than usual.

As the eight million ethnic Chinese in Malaysia are ushering in the Year of the Rabbit next Wednesday, many people are worried that they could not reach home on time to reunion with their family members as road transports in the flooded areas might be cut off.

However, the department assured that the weather would get dryer this coming week.

Local Chinese said when the Chinese New Year was imminent, the weather usually turned dry and hot, but it seemed that the weather pattern had changed this year, causing inconvenience to spring cleaning as the large volume of clothes could not be hanged outdoor to dry.

Some people even brought the washed textiles to the laundries to dry them using dryers, an equipment that is hardly seen in Malaysian families, as the tropical country is usually hot throughout the year.

Source: Xinhua

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