JOHOR BAHRU: Floods across the state of Johor have displaced more than 6,500 people as of Sunday (Jan 3) afternoon.
A total of 6,557 people from 1,694 families evacuated their homes, up from 1,780 victims from 500 families on Saturday night.
Mersing and Pontian were the latest flood-affected districts, apart from Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru, Kulai and Batu Pahat, said Johor State Health and Environment Committee chairman R Vidyananthan.
He said 28 more temporary relief centres are opened, bringing the total number of relief centres operating in the state to 56.
In the district of Kluang, authorities said a man is feared drowned after the car he was driving was swept away by floodwaters at Batu 18, Jalan Batu Pahat-Mersing on Saturday evening.
Kluang district police chief Low Hang Seng said the incident occurred when the Proton Waja car, driven by Rajihan Junaidi, was traversing the flooded road stretch.
The man’s wife, Khairunnisa Ibrahim, was also in the car during the incident.
“Based on the police report lodged by Khairunnisa at 10.35pm last night at the Kahang police station, the car was swept by strong currents to the right side of the of the road,” said Low.
Low added that 28-year-old Rajihan had managed to break the car window to save his wife before the 25-year-old woman was rescued by members of the public.
However, he said the victim who was in the car was swept away by the current.
A search and rescue operation was immediately launched but it has been futile due to darkness and the strong currents, Low added.
The operation, which involved personnel from the Royal Malaysian Police and the Fire and Rescue Department, resumed on Sunday.