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Operation Update Report Malaysia: Floods Operation update n° 3 (DREF n° MDRMY004)

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Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operations Update is issued to inform the extension of the DREF operation by two months (from 30 April until 07 July 2020), to enable completion of activities which have been suspended following restrictions put in place by the Malaysian Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, namely the restriction on public gatherings.
These restrictions have delayed the post-distribution monitoring activities and lessons learned workshop initially planned for April. With this extension, the activities will be completed once the restrictions are lifted. If the restrictions are extended longer than this extension, MRCS will use other methodologies to complete the activities (i.e. online Lessons Learned).

The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Belgium, Britain,
Canada, Denmark, German, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Spain,
Sweden and Switzerland, as well as DG ECHO and Blizzard Entertainment, Mondelez International Foundation, and Fortive Corporation and other corporate and private donors. The IFRC, on behalf of the Malaysian Red Cross, would like to extend thanks to all for their generous contributions.


Description of the disaster

Heavy rains continued in Malaysia since the rains began to make its mark in the northern states of the western peninsula from the end of November 2019. At the end of November 2019, water level rose in some rivers in Kelantan and Terengganu. On 29 November 2019, Sungai Golok at Jenob Tanah Merah and Sungai Lebir in Tualang Kuala Krai breached its warning level respectively1. As for Terengganu states, the levels of three rivers in Setiu and one in Besut namely Sungai Nerus in Kampung Langkap, Sungai Setiu in Kampung Besut, Sungai Chalok in Chalok Bridge and Sungai Besut in Kampung La had breached the danger point.

The flood caused massive chaos and disturbance in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. More than 15,000 people have been evacuated into designated relief centers in Kelantan and Terengganu on 3 December 2019.
The Pasir Mas district in Kelantan is the worst affected district with almost 2,000 families evacuated to evacuation centers. The district remains to be accessible only to watercrafts. The Malaysian NSC, NADMA and the District Offices in the respective affected areas were coordinating the evacuation activities with the support of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department and JPAM.

The water level receded and most of the evacuation centers were closed on 5 December3. Since then, most of the families have returned back to their homes and some are living in their relative’s houses.

MRS was monitoring the situation, and the second wave expected in the end of December 2019 fortunately did not exceed any danger or warning levels. The rapid emergency response including evacuation and support activities by the Government of Malaysia, MRCS and other stakeholders was effective for the affected communities to survive during the time, but the damages caused by the flood has left the communities in a critical situation with persisting needs and priorities for early recovery and returning back to their day to day lives.