KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – Sightseers in flood-hit areas of northern Malaysia are hampering the distribution of aid to victims, a news report said Tuesday.
People were converging in the northern state of Kelantan, which was worst hit by the floods in recent weeks, to see for themselves the extent of devastation, The Star newspaper said.
Disaster tourists were clogging up areas with their vehicles and posting selfies and “I was there” photos on social media websites, the report said.
The tourists were also obstructing services and volunteers who were trying to help the victims, it added.
Jen Azmi Yahya, an army brigade commander, was quoted by the Star as confirming the large number of “unwanted tourists” that hamper relief distribution.
Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said a total of 23 people have died in the floods, including 11 fatalities from Kelantan.
Malaysia’s National Security Council said the floods, which also hit the nearby states of Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Johor have displaced more than 250,000 people.
Monsoon rains started around three weeks ago, pounding the coastal states along with high tides, and forcing people to flee their homes and seek shelter in schools or stadiums.