KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Devastating floods that hit Malaysia in recent weeks caused about $1.4 billion in losses, with widespread damage to homes, businesses and factories, the country’s statistics department said on Friday.
Heavy monsoon rains triggered the country’s worst flooding in years from mid-December to early January, with about 50 people killed and 125,000 forced from their homes.
The disaster caused losses amounting to 6.1 billion ringgit ($1.45 billion), the government’s statistics department said in a report.
About half of those losses occurred in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous state, which encircles the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Damage to public assets and infrastructure accounted for two billion ringgit in losses, while homes and businesses represented 1.6 billion ringgit and 0.5 billion ringgit of the total, respectively.
The manufacturing sector suffered losses of 900 million ringgit, according to the report.
Malaysia suffers annual flooding during the November to February monsoon season, but this year’s were particularly damaging, with some pointing to climate change for worsening the disaster.
The government came under fire for what critics said was a slow and inadequate response. In some of the worst-hit areas, people had to wait for days on rooftops of flooded houses before finally being rescued.
© Agence France-Presse