State installs over 50 telemetry systems in newly identified flood-prone areas

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  • Sunday, 13 Nov 2011

KUCHING: Sarawak is now prepared to face the coming monsoon season, which is most likely to bring floods.

Updates from Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas have revealed that more than 50 new telemetry systems were installed at newly-discovered flood-prone areas in the state recently.

He said, since the last bad flood in 2009, flood-prone areas had increased and there was a need to improve the old system and install new ones.

“There are about 400 telemetry systems throughout the state. While new ones are being installed, the old ones will be improved.

“Unfortunately, many areas in the state are still not reached by the cell phone network, which renders some mobile-reliant systems useless. In such cases, we will rely on manual systems where an observer will go to the location and look at the water level,” Uggah told reporters after opening the World Rivers Day at the Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.

He said the working telemetry systems would send data in real time to the Central Information Centre where officers monitor the situation closely in case of flood.

Uggah said the preparations for the monsoon season would be discussed at the National Security Council meeting to be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Nov 15.

He said that Sarawak’s main concern was the poor cellular coverage, which would hamper the telemetry and early warning systems and communications, and this would be discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Uggah said that a flood diversion canal being built in Kuching was now on its second phase.

He said the contractors and engineers were in the final phase of drawing up the canal’s southern part under a rolling plan at a cost of RM90mil.

The completion date would be announced once the plan’s drawings were done, he added.

“Our initial cost of RM1.5bil for the whole project covers a barrage, causeways, bridges and other components,” said Uggah.

The project initiated in 2009 in-volved the construction of a 8.2km canal and a dyke from Sarawak Ri-ver to the South China Sea to overcome floods in the city by the end of the 11th Malaysia Plan period in 2020.

Related Stories: NREB: Eight of the state’s 51 main rivers are polluted

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