PETALING JAYA: More than 11,000 people affected by the floods that struck several states in Malaysia have been sent to temporary evacuation centres, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said temporary evacuation centres have been opened in six states – Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.

“A total of 11,384 victims from 4,500 families were involved (in being sent to the centres),” Ismail Sabri said in a press conference at late Saturday (Dec 18) night.

There were 45 temporary evacuation centres set up in Selangor, 84 in Pahang, 39 in Kelantan, nine each in Melaka and Negri Sembilan and two in Terengganu.

“We have also opened a hotline for people who need assistance, who can call 03-8064 2400.

“This hotline is managed by the National Disaster Command Centre which is based at the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) office,” he said.

Ismail Sabri added that officers from all agencies involved including the Social Welfare Department and Public Works Department will be tasked to answer the calls.

As of that hour, he said the efforts were still ongoing by various agencies, including the police, to assist people who have been trapped by the floods, especially in Selangor.

“In Selangor, it is rather helter-skelter (kelam kabut) because the floods were sudden as such occurrences rarely happened during the monsoon season.

“This is opposed to other states like Pahang and Kelantan which would have anticipated the effects of the year-end monsoon season,” Ismail Sabri said.

Assets from the Malaysian Armed Forces, police, Malaysia Civil Defence Department, Fire and Rescue Department and others were being mobilised to alleviate the situation.

“I have asked the armed forces to conduct more evacuations.

“Many are trapped at home. I have also called the Inspector-General of Police to deploy more officers to aid those, especially in Selangor.

“Many are trapped in their own homes, while there are some who are trapped in a bus for eight hours. I have ordered the Fire and Rescue Department to help them immediately,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said Nadma and the Social Welfare Department will also supply food to the flood victims.

“To all those affected by the flood, stay calm and don’t worry. We will ensure all efforts are taken to assist you.

“I urge all to be careful, take care of your children and beware of the flood water as it is difficult to tell how deep and dangerous it can be,” he warned.