by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Dec 27, 2012
Floods triggered by torrential rains in Malaysia claimed a second victim as waters started to subside, allowing thousands of evacuees to return home from relief centres, reports said Thursday.
Fifteen-year-old Mohd Hamidi Abdul Hamid drowned while playing in a flooded field in Terengganu -- one of three northeastern states hit by heavy rain -- on Wednesday, according to state news agency Bernama.
The previous day Samhanim Ramli, 36, died after slipping into a river as she tried to cast a fishing net, according to the Star newspaper.
The floods had forced the evacuation of almost 20,000 people by Wednesday evening as fast-rising water reached the roofs of houses in some areas. More than four thousand had returned home by Thursday morning, Bernama said.
The torrential rain, coinciding with high tides, in the states of Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan, forced the closure of a number of major roads as rivers burst their banks.
Huge traffic jams formed as motorists were forced to abandon their cars, with some opting to push their vehicles through waist-deep water.
Part of the $108 million Paya Peda irrigation dam wall under construction in Terengganu had to be broken to release pressure, according to Bernama.
The meteorological department has forecast more rain on the east coast over the coming days.
Director Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the northeast monsoon season would last until March and the affected states could experience at least three more "heavy rain" episodes.
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