KOTA KINABALU: The government is developing an SMS tsunami alert system, with the hope of allowing people time to flee to safer grounds if disaster strikes, says Yeo Bee Yin (pic).
The Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister said this is in view of the climate change and geologists’ warning that some areas in the country, specifically Tawau off Sabah, could be hit with tsunami.
After a meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal here Tuesday (Oct 23), Yeo said the government has decided to prepare itself better to face disasters.
"A person will receive a text message on the phone at the area where the tsunami alert or warning is issued,” she said.
She said once the system is developed, the government will work towards creating awareness and conducting drills to ensure people know what to do when disaster strikes.
“All our 56 tsunami warning sirens nationwide at hotspots are working, but people may not know what the sirens mean. Even if the sirens are sounded, people may not know what to do,” she said.
She said the ministry, together with other relevant agencies, are working on a plan on how to handle the matter.
She also said that the SMS alert system could be expanded for other disasters in future.
On the recurring landslides in Cameron Highlands, Yeo said a thorough study is needed to find the exact causes.
“We will need to study what could have caused these landslides so regularly, and after we have accurate details, then we can find solutions to the problem,” she said.
On another development, Shafie said the state government will follow the directive of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to raise the minimum marriage age to 18.
He also said the Sabah government does not mind having the Chief Minister’s post limited to two terms, as suggested by Dr Mahathir.
“But if there is a need to stay on longer than two terms, then we will have to look at enactments, among other factors,” Shafie said.