Over 1,000 forced to leave their homes as floods hit Malaysia

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JOHOR BARU More than 1,000 people have been forced to leave their homes after floods hit various states in Malaysia yesterday, with more rain predicted due to the annual northeast monsoon.

Johor, which has suffered heavy downpours since Sunday evening, saw the number of flood victims rise to 371 people yesterday morning, reported The Star, with most of those affected in Mersing district.

State Health, Environment, Education and Information committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said that 95 families had been evacuated from their homes as at 6am yesterday.

"Mersing is currently the worst hit with 337 people seeking shelter at seven flood relief centres," said Mr Ayub. Another 34 flood evacuees are at relief centres in the Kota Tinggi district.

Meanwhile, three primary schools in the Kluang district were affected by rising floodwaters.

Roads leading to two were cut off yesterday morning, while a third had to be closed, said Mr Ayub.

Floods also affected Malaysia's eastern state of Pahang, forcing 11 schools to be closed yesterday, the first day of the new school year.

Pahang acting director of education Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said the schools would reopen only after the floodwaters recede and parents would be kept informed.

A total of 445 flood victims were evacuated from Pahang yesterday morning, reported national news agency Bernama. Pahang Civil Defence Force director Zainal Yusof said 349 people from 95 families were evacuated to five relief centres in Rompin.

Another 233 people from Dungun, a coastal district in Terengganu, were moved to evacuation centres.

The east coast of Malaysia is braced for more flooding after the Kelantan irrigation department warned that floods are expected to strike six districts in the state's river basin early this morning.

The department's director Kamal Mustapha told Bernama that more than 240mm of rain fell in the Gunung Gagau area of Gua Musang over the past two days.