Two previous floods recorded more victims


PETALING JAYA: The current floods that have hit many states are some of the worst in Malaysia, but there had been two incidents in the past decade that saw bigger numbers of victims.

A 2013 statement by the National Security Council (NSC) on its website stated that flooding at the end of 2010 triggered the evacuation of 230,000 residents.

Heavy rain in Kelantan, Johor and Kedah that year also damaged 45,000ha of rice fields.

NSC said 140,000 people were evacuated when a typhoon that landed over the Philippines and Vietnam led to heavy rain from December 2006 to January 2007.

The 2006 floods affected a number of states that included Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Johor.

The worst ever flood to hit Kelantan was in January 1926.

It was referred to as the “red flood” (bah merah) as the water, which inundated almost all parts of the state, was reddish in colour, a departure from the usual milk tea or brown-coloured water.

The reddish tint was caused by the many landslides following 10 days of non-stop heavy rain.

The current flood situation, meanwhile, has yet to show signs of abating with the Meteorological Department issuing 38 severe weather alerts since Dec 18.

Fifteen were categorised as “red” alerts, 15 as “orange” alerts and eight as “yellow” alerts.

With the exception of Putrajaya, alerts have been issued in all states and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

A yellow alert involves a possibility of a monsoonal surge within the next 24 to 48 hours, while an orange alert is for moderate to heavy monsoon rains from a low-pressure system or tropical depression with sustained wind speeds of 50kph to 60kph, or when there are strong winds of between 50kph and 60kph for more than two hours.

A red alert is for moderate to heavy widespread monsoon rain accompanied by wind speeds of 60kph or more with moderate to heavy rain for over two hours.

Red alerts hint at the strong possibility of flooding that is accompanied by swift currents.

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