Another million go without water in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A burst water pipe left a million people without water in Malaysia’s capital area, where 2 million people have already suffered drought-induced water shortages for two months.
More than 300 tanker trucks rushed water to hospitals, hotels, restaurants and homes Saturday after the pipe burst, the Star daily quoted the waterworks department director, Che Mohamad Jusoh, as saying.
The pipe was fixed and supply restored to some areas by Saturday, but many areas could remain without water for up to four days, he said.
The disruption started Friday and brought the entire Klang Valley, the area encompassing Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, under severe water rationing.
Taps have been dry intermittently for about two months in some outlying areas because of the country’s worst drought in 15 years. Some residents have not had any water for a week and depend on trucks to fill overhead tanks so they could have a few hours of water.
Few people expected the crisis in the high-rainfall tropical area where floods are more typical. But a prolonged drought has depleted water stocks in the city’s four main reservoirs so much that rains in the last week have done little to fill them
After the latest crisis, many newspaper offices were flooded with phone calls from irate residents.
In some states where millions of farmers are threatened, officials proved unable to cope with the drought and organized prayers for rain. Though water authorities blame the El Nino weather phenomenon for the lack of rain, many residents accuse the government of mismanagement.