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160,000 Displaced by Flooding in Malaysia


A volunteer of Muslim Care Malaysia Society packs boxes of mineral water to be sent to flood-hit east coast states, in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 27, 2014.

Rescuers in Malaysia are struggling to reach thousands of people affected by the country's worst flooding in decades.

By Saturday, more than 160,000 people had been displaced and several people had been reported killed by the rising waters that affected at least eight states.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who cut short his Hawaiian vacation to lead the national flood response, visited the worst-hit state of Kelantan and was briefed on the worsening situation.

The Malaysian leader announced nearly $145 million for nationwide flood-victim relief, which will be administered by the National Security Council. That was in addition to an aid package announced earlier.

Najib came under fire this past week after photos emerged showing him playing golf with President Barack Obama in Hawaii. People posted messages on his Facebook page, urging him to return home as the flooding worsened.

Malaysian forecasters said the heavy rains would continue for the next few days, spreading to previously unaffected southern states.

Neighboring countries also have experienced severe flooding.