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Severe Flooding Hits Malaysia Forcing Record Evacuations

Image: An aerial view of flooded streets of the National Park in Kuala Tahan, Pahang
An aerial view of flooded streets of the National Park in Kuala Tahan, Pahang on Dec. 24, 2014. Nazirul Roselan / Reuters

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes by authorities in five northern states of Malaysia hit by the Southeast Asian' nation's worst monsoon floods in decades.

Extremely high levels of floodwater and bad weather have made relocating victims and the transport of food supplies by helicopters difficult, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.

Image: A family ride on a boat through floodwater in Pengkalan Chepa
A family rides on a boat through floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu, Malaysia on Dec. 26, 2014. AFP - Getty Images

A total of 103,412 people have been displaced in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Perlis, state news agency Bernama said, surpassing the previous record of 100,000 people evacuated during floods in 2008.

Northeastern peninsular Malaysia, which is worst affected, is regularly hit by flooding during the annual Northeast Monsoon, but this year's rains have been particularly bad.

On Tuesday, nearly 60 foreign tourists were among almost 100 people rescued by boat and helicopter from a resort in a Malaysian national park lashed by its highest rainfall since 1971..

The flooding comes as communities in northwestern Malaysia mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating tsunami that hit on Dec. 26, 2004.

— Reuters