Torrential rains have deluged Sri Lanka, southern Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia in recent days, leading to flooding throughout the region.
In Malaysia, the government called the flooding the worst in three decades. Over 100,000 people have been forced from their homes and five have died. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has cut short a visit with President Obama in Hawaii to deal with the crisis.
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“I’m deeply concerned by the floods and am returning to see the situation for myself. My thoughts and prayers are with all who are suffering,” Najib said in posts on social media Friday.
Southern Thailand has also been hit hard by relentless rain, where at least 13 have died from recent flooding according to Reuters.
“The daily rainfall totals across the south of Thailand have been in excess of 50mm [2 inches] for the last few weeks,” reports Al Jazeera. “On Monday, Pattani recorded 84mm [3.3 inches] of rain whilst Hat Yai had 92mm [3.6 inches]. The floodwaters now stand waist-deep or higher in many areas.”
About 34,000 people were forced from their homes in Indonesia this week, and a state of emergency was declared in Bandung, a sprawling city with a population of over 8.6 million.
In Sri Lanka, floods and mudslides have killed at least 14 people and driven 80,000 people from their homes according to the AFP news service.
Heavy rains are common in Southeast Asia at this time of year due to the northeast monsoon, although moisture levels are currently above normal for the time of year. More waves of heavy rain may affect the region through the weekend.
Parts of this same region afflicted by flooding are also commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed over a quarter million lives.