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Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 8:28:56 AM
Extensive damage: Dr Maximus visiting one of the areas damaged by the mud flood at Bertam Valley.
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The exercise of releasing water from the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam will be monitored constantly until the weather in the highlands improves.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said all relevant parties, including the district office, the Drainage and Irrigation Department and Tenaga Nasional Bhd, would monitor the situation over the next 10 days and take action to avert any disaster like the recent mud flood at Bertam Valley.
“The weather is unpredictable due to climate change.
“The district engineers, TNB and the disaster committee need to take note and see what can be done,” he said during his visit to Bertam Valley here yesterday.
He noted that rainfall collected at Lake Ringlet last week was the highest ever – about 0.59m of water per hour. It was 13 times higher than normal rainfall collected during the monsoon season.
Dr Maximus stressed that all agencies need to discuss managing the dam so the flood that happened last Wednesday would not recur.
“When the siren blared, people thought it was a normal routine. This is a wake-up call for all of us.
“We can no longer discount rain and erratic weather as natural occurrences,” he said, adding that TNB would need to discuss making changes to its procedures on releasing water from the dam.
He said TNB spent RM180mil every five years to clear sediment from Lake Ringlet and nearby tributaries. This included RM80mil for dredging of sediment and mud and RM20mil for annual maintenance of the dam.
“About 350,000 sq m of sediment is dug out from the lake and its tributaries.
“We estimate there is still about 500,000 sq m of sediment left that we have not dug out,” he said, adding that it was the equivalent to the size of nine football fields.
He said RM300,000 was also spent annually to clean some 200 sq m of garbage from the surface of the lake and rivers.
Tags / Keywords:
Environment, Bertam Valley floods
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