Malaysia floods force more evacuations as 1 more dead

KUALA LUMPUR - Severe flooding in Malaysia has left a second person dead and two missing, while the number of evacuees has risen to some 56,000, a report and officials said Thursday.

More than 38,000 people sought refuge in evacuation centres in the east coast state of Pahang alone, where heavy rain since Sunday has caused the heaviest flooding, the state news agency Bernama reported.

A 21-year-old man drowned in the state on Wednesday, adding to an earlier fatality in neighbouring Terangganu state.

A father and his 17-year-old son have been missing in Pahang since Wednesday.

They are believed to have fallen in the water while trying to retrieve belongings from their house, Bernama said.

Some 18,000 people have been evacuated in Terengganu, Kelantan and Johor states, all along the east coast.

TV footage Thursday showed people wading through fast-flowing waist-high brown water, carrying their belongings, while authorities ferried others from their partly submerged houses in boats. Cars were also partly submerged.

A Meteorological Department official said rain in most flood-hit areas had stopped but flooding persisted due to the high tide.

"The weather forecast for the east coast is that it will get better," she told AFP.

Floods caused by annual monsoon rains that begin around November are common in the Southeast Asian country.

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