Dozens of tourists stranded by floods in Malaysian national park

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2014 11:03 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Nearly 60 foreign tourists are among almost 100 people stranded at a resort in a Malaysian national park lashed by its heaviest rainfall in more than four decades, staff said on Wednesday, and authorities are sending boats and a helicopter to rescue them.

About 84 guests, including travellers from Canada, Britain, Australia and Romania, and 10 staff members at the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, in the East Coast state of Pahang, were marooned after riverbanks overflowed, a resort official told Reuters.

The local fire and rescue department was sending boats and looking for a safe spot for a helicopter to land, he said.

The park, a popular ecotourism destination spanning 434,300 hectares (1,075,000 acres) of tropical rainforest, has recorded its highest rainfall since 1971, following major floods on the country's east coast, state news agency Bernama said.

Residents were warned to avoid coastal areas and river mouths as tides were expected to reach their peak over the next two nights, Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times said.

Eastern peninsular Malaysia is regularly hit by flooding during the annual Northeast Monsoon. This year nearly 60,000 people have been evacuated due to the floods, mostly from the east coast, according to the latest figures by Bernama.

(Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Alex Richardson and Paul Tait)