PETALING JAYA: Sabah and Sarawak are set to be hit by heavier monsoon rains later this month, raising the risk of more floods in the two states.
Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Alui Bahari said heavy monsoon rainfall currently focused on the east coast Peninsular states of Pahang and Johor would gradually ease and head towards west Sarawak and north Sabah.
“Heavy monsoon rains in Pahang and east Johor can still occur this month, but the rainfall in both states is not expected to be as high as in November and December.
“This month, higher rainfall is expected to be more focused in west Sarawak and north Sabah,” Alui said in a statement in response to questions from The Star.
The annual northeast monsoon, which started in November and will last until March, has flooded parts of Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak and Penang.
Alui said once the northeast monsoon ended, the country would enter an intermonsoon period that would last until May.
During the intermonsoon, brief episodes of heavy rains and thunderstorms, especially in the evening and nights, are expected in most parts of the west coast and interior of the Peninsular, west Sabah, as well as west and central Sarawak.
Separately, Pahang saw a slight drop in the number of flood evacuees yesterday.
According to the Welfare Department’s flood information online portal, the number of evacuees fell from 9,858 yesterday morning to 9,366 in the afternoon.
In Sabah, the number of flood evacuees in the Mambakut sub-district in Beaufort rose slightly to 637 yesterday evening compared to 626 in the morning, the Civil Defence Force said in a statement.
In Mersing, Johor, all 161 evacuees returned to their homes after the floodwaters subsided yesterday, said state Health, Environment, Education and Information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat.