Devastating floods have run rampant throughout the cities of Malaysia, with 40 children and teachers requiring rescuing from a daycare center in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital.
While no one was hurt, this is not the first time people have been placed in danger as 12 cars were completely submerged in water on Monday. Drivers and their passengers were left stranded on the roofs of their vehicles with water levels reaching as high as two meters(6.5 feet).
According to the Fire and Rescue Department, the situation was under control and everyone was taken to a safe location they declared in a statement.
The country, having kept its borders closed since the start of the pandemic, is in the middle of recovering from a damaged economy after a 2-year quarantine and these floods have only set things further behind.
Other cases of extreme flooding include children having to be rescued and evacuated from their homes by Army Soldiers on the 21st of December in one of the capital’s outskirts, Shah Alam.
With the number of lives lost in the floods rising to 47 and a displacement of 61,000 people, the Malaysian government has received some heavy backlash and criticism from its citizens for its lack of efforts in aiding people.
While lots of people remain angered at the situation, others have urged to use these tragedies as a learning experience and focus on creating preventative measures.
Dr. Siew of Cent-GPS states Malaysia should concentrate efforts on climate damage control, such as cutting down on emissions, stopping deforestation, and creating public awareness.
“The government must enact a climate change act which will give an integrated approach, from the policy-level to our disaster response. It’s also a way to integrate the role of society and NGOs in organizing support for disaster response.”
He goes on to mention that authorities should ensure the availability of enough food and shelter for displaced people at all times.
“Such erratic weather patterns are more likely to happen and we have to start preparing ourselves for such events or events that are even worse.
“More often than not, it’s the marginalized communities – rural population, children, disabled, elderly, they are the ones suffering the most” he added.