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Malaysia Flooding Forces More Than 160,000 to Evacuate

Heavy rainfall over the last several weeks has caused major flooding in Malaysia, forcing more than 160,000 to be evacuated, Reuters reported.

The news organization AFP reported on Friday that at least five people have been killed by the rising floodwaters.

"For the last two weeks, there has been torrential rain in the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula," Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia, reported that the situation in the states of Negeri Sembilan and Kedah had fully recovered after residents returned to their homes. However, the situation in the states of Terengganu and Pahang remained problematic. Kelantan was among the hardest hit areas and more than 80,000 residents remained in relief centers on Saturday, Bernama said.

December is normally a very wet time of the year, thanks to the strengthening of the Northeast Monsoon, Andrews said.

"They've just had way more [rainfall] than they would normally have," he said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak returned early from a trip to the U.S. to oversee the recovery process. At a Saturday press conference, he announced additional financial aid in the amount of $143 million will be spent on aid for victims, according to Reuters.