mammoth clean up after malaysia floods - Mammoth clean-up after Malaysia floods

KUALA LUMPUR – After a series of floods swept most of Peninsular Malaysia for almost three weeks, some victims have begun the mammoth task of cleaning up.

Food truck vendor Rahman Sarif and his family have spent more than a week cleaning their house in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, with the little resources they have.

“We stayed up for more than 24 hours on the first day of cleaning. It is super tedious and extremely laborious – there’s just so much that needs to be done. This includes moving everything out before we can start cleaning the house and throwing away everything that we can’t keep,” Mr Rahman, 44, told The Straits Times.

“We spent the first few days (after the water receded) cleaning the interior, moving items in and out, as well as (doing) laundry. Cleaning work has to be done quick before the mud dries up. It would be more difficult to clean if that happens,” he added.

Mr Rahman said he had to throw out almost all electrical goods, such as the washing machine, television and laptops. He estimated his losses to be at least RM40,000 (S$13,000).

He is among tens of thousands of Malaysians who are now picking up the pieces after returning to their homes.

They were evacuated during the floods in mid-December 2021, when the country experienced the heaviest rainfall in the past 100 years. Eight of the 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia were affected by the floods.

A total of 12,460 people were still at relief centres on Wednesday (Jan 5), down from 60,000 on Dec 20.

As at Wednesday, at least 50 people had died while two were still missing.

Torrential rain pummelling Malaysia during the New Year period had also caused floods in seven states on Sunday (Jan 2).

Residents living in coastal areas, especially on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, were advised to be on alert for a four-day high tide phenomenon expected from Sunday.

Based on local news reports, post-flood waste has tripled to 1,500 tonnes daily, from the usual 500 tonnes.