PUTRAJAYA: Schools in the country will be closed if the temperature in their area hits 37°C for more than 72 hours and a heatwave emergency declared if any area sees temperatures at 40°C for seven days or more.
With temperatures expected to hit its peak tomorrow, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said a first warning would be issued if temperatures reach or exceed 37°C for 72 hours.
“When the first warning is issued, we will order the postponement of outdoor activities at schools, such as extra-curricular activities, cross-country events or camping.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports will order outdoor sports activities and athletics training sessions to be postponed, held indoors or held at night.
“If it stays at above 37°C for more than 72 hours, a second warning will be issued.
“Schools in these areas will be ordered closed,” he said.
These are among the measures in a new heatwave “action plan” that was approved by the Cabinet yesterday.
Dr Wan Junaidi said the Cabinet had approved the setting up of a special committee on the heatwave, which he will chair.
“The committee will be tasked with monitoring the heatwave situation and with executing the action plan.
“The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) will convene a special meeting to discuss an emergency response plan.
“If temperatures go beyond 40°C for seven days or more, then Nadma will declare a ‘heatwave emergency’ and will announce the emergency measures to be taken,” Dr Wan Junaidi told a press conference here yesterday.
The committee, he added, comprised Nadma, the Meteorological Department, the Department of Environment, the National Security Council, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry, among others.
In 1998, the district of Chuping in Perlis recorded the highest reading in Malaysia’s history at 40.1°C.
The same district recorded a reading of 39°C on Monday and yesterday.