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Floods displace thousands in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Thousands of people in Malaysia have been displaced by floods caused by two days of heavy rain, officials said Saturday, promising swift efforts to evacuate those in need.

Flash floods appeared in many parts of the country as continuous heavy rain since early Friday swamped urban areas and cut off access to major highways.

The tropical Southeast Asian nation often experiences stormy weather at year's end, with seasonal flooding regularly causing mass evacuations.

More than 3,500 people were evacuated in the country's richest state of Selangor, its chief minister Amirudin Shari said, as he noted the "abnormal" weather.

The Meteorological Department warned that heavy rain was expected to persist in 12 of the country's 16 states and territories over Sunday.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob activated the army, police and other security agencies to quickly evacuate citizens.

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"I have ordered all relevant ministries to immediately mobilise all assets in affected areas to make sure that people are rescued," he said in a Facebook post.

Malaysia's worst flooding in decades came in 2014, forcing some 118,000 people to flee.

Artmotion S.Africa

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