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Monsoon Forces 62,000 People from their Homes in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, December 25 (RHC)-- Torrential downpours and high tides have created chaos in Malaysia's northeastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, displacing around 62,000 people. According to reports on Wednesday, more than 26,000 people in Kelantan, over 22,000 in Terengganu and nearly 13,000 in Pahang were forced to evacuate their homes and seek shelter due to the overflow of rivers.

Although people there expect such Monsoon rains, the extent of the rainfall -- the worst in four decades -- has surprised officials. National Weather Center forecasters said states like Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang were getting twice the rainfall this year in comparison with the previous year.

Weather forecasters attributed the higher rainfall to a combination of the new moon, the strong winds, and the perigee, the point where the moon is closest to the earth, noting that the stronger gravitational pull, the consequential stronger pull on water causes high tides."

The meteorological department's weather forecast director, Muhammad Helmi Abdullah, has warned that there could be more rain in the coming days. "We expect intermittent rain to heavy showers in (some parts of) the states," he said, adding that the northeast monsoon season could last until March and the states might experience more than three more "heavy rain" episodes.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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