Number of Malaysians displaced by worst-ever floods reaches 160,000

by Reuters
Saturday, 27 December 2014 10:14 GMT

Volunteers carry a man on a stretcher out of a helicopter during a mission to evacuate elderly people from the National Park in Kuala Tahan, to Jerantut, Pahang, Malaysia, December 24, 2014. REUTERS/Nazirul Roselan

Image Caption and Rights Information

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 (Reuters) - The number of people evacuated due to Malaysia's worst-ever floods jumped to more than 160,000 on Saturday, as Prime Minister Najib Razak reached the worst-hit state after cutting short a vacation in the U.S.

Najib arrived in Kelantan, which has the biggest problems among eight affected states, following his return from Hawaii on Friday after public criticism he had been absent as flooding worsened.

On Saturday, Najib announced an additional 500 million ringgit ($143.31 million) will be spent to aid victims after the flood subsides, following an initial government allocation of 50 million ringgit two days ago.

The number of people evacuated topped 160,000 at 0700GMT Saturday, according to the New Straits Times newspaper, a sharp increase from 100,000 a day before.

The prime minister attended briefings with the National Security Council, the National Disaster Management and Relief Committee, state government and local emergency responders, a statement on Friday said.

Northeastern peninsular Malaysia, which is worst affected part of the country, is regularly hit by flooding during the annual "northeast monsoon", but this year's rains have been particularly heavy.

($1 = 3.4890 ringgit)

(Reporting by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.