KUALA LUMPUR: The number of people in Kelantan and Terengganu affected by floods rose overnight, with 15,126 displaced from their homes as of Tuesday (Dec 3) morning.
The worsening floods also claimed a second victim.
Eh Phong Areang, a 49-year-old Thai labourer, reportedly slipped and fell in a flooded paddy field in Kelantan on Monday.
His body was subsequently found by villagers near where he fell at about 11.30am, said Tumpat district police chief Abdul Rashid Mat Daud. The case has been classified as sudden death, with no criminal element involved.
Flood evacuees in Kelantan increased to 10,207 people as at 8am on Tuesday, up from 10,078 on Monday night.
According to the authorities, the Pasir Mas district recorded the highest number of evacuees at 5,751 people (2,268 families) at 28 relief centres.
This was followed by Kuala Krai, with 1,075 evacuees (265 families) at 16 centres, Pasir Puteh 826 evacuees (219 families) at eight centres and Kota Bharu 733 evacuees (209 families) at five centres.
In Tanah Merah, 642 evacuees (179 families) were at 13 centres, with 619 evacuees (190 families) at three centres in Tumpat, and 203 evacuees (61 families) at six centres in Machang.
No closure of major roads has been reported so far.
A group of loggers trapped by rising waters in Tanah Merah, Kelantan, were rescued on Monday after being stranded for two days.
Fourteen loggers, aged between 23 and 50, were trapped in the Kampung Sokor Forest Reserve after the access road was flooded when a nearby river burst its banks, said Tanah Merah Fire Rescue Station chief Mohd Rafain Mat Zain.
“We were informed that they entered the forest two days ago for logging,” he told Bernama on Monday.
“We received a distress call from one of them early today. They were rescued with the help of two fire and rescue personnel, four police officers and five members of a Smart Team."
None of the loggers were injured, although their food supplies had been depleted.
In Terengganu, the number of evacuees increased slightly to 4,919 people (1,421 families) on Tuesday morning, up from 4,908 (1,425 families) the night before. The evacuees were at 120 centres in eight districts.
State Civil Defence Force director Lieutenant Colonel Che Adam A Rahman said Kuala Terengganu was the latest district to be hit by floods on Monday night, with 22 evacuees (four families) currently at a centre near Manir.
"Besut remains to be the worst affected area, with the number of centres unchanged at 51, where a total of 1,879 evacuees from 503 families are being placed," said Mr Che Adam.
“Meanwhile Setiu recorded a drop to 1,406 evacuees (398 families) at 26 centres, from 1,435 evacuees (408 families) last night. The situation in Hulu Terengganu remains unchanged, with 889 evacuees (331 families) at 16 centres."
A viral social media video blaming overflowing water from Hulu Terengganu's Kenyir Lake for the floods was dismissed by local police on Monday as fake news.
District police chief Mohd Adli Mat Daud said the water in the lake was at the normal level of 140 metres, and that overflowing only takes place when the level reaches 146 metres.
In Johor, the number of evacuees in Batu Pahat remained at 52 as at 8am on Tuesday.
Johor Local Government, Urban and Environmental Welfare Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said the 13 families are from Kampung Parit Betong, Kampung Parit Abdul Hadi and Kampung Parit Ju.
All evacuees were being sheltered at Sekolah Agama Seri Comel, which had opened on Sunday evening.