Measures needed to prevent floods

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 06 Sep 2020

PETALING JAYA: With heavy rain and thunderstorm expected during the inter-monsoon season this month, green activists have called on the authorities to take measures to prevent flash floods that could wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods.

Climatologist Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang said that during this period, Malaysia would normally experience weaker wind aloft between September and October.

“This provides favourable conditions for local convection, especially in the west coast of the peninsula in the afternoon and evening,” he said when contacted.

Based on the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia)’s latest long-term forecast, many parts of the peninsula will experience an average rainfall of between 120mm and 300mm.

However, this excludes Perlis, west of Kedah, Penang, west Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan and Melaka that are expected to experience a slightly lower average rainfall of between 70mm and 300mm.

During this period, he said the “Madden Julian Oscillation” (MJO) could provide favourable conditions for convergence of moisture into the region.

“Currently, sea surface temperatures in South-East Asian seas is anomalously warmer, causing the region to have lower atmospheric pressure and convergence of moisture. All these conditions are expected to contribute to wetter conditions in September and October,” he said.

Dr Renard Siew, a climate change adviser at the Centre for Governance and Political Studies, said the MJO phenomenon was part of the climate diversity in tropical areas that swings with frequency, normally once within 20 to 60 days.

Environment expert and wildlife conservationist Wong Ee Phin said the most important priority was to conserve the forest and green surfaces to allow water to be absorbed into the ground.

She supported the idea for an integrated river basin management and integrated water management which enables a holistic management of rivers.

Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil called on the relevant authorities to stop logging,which could bring more damage during this period.

“Logging will affect a lot of things, especially our water catchment areas. The authorities must take stern measures on this or else it will permanently damage our country.”

In response, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the ministry would continue with its various flood mitigation projects across the country.“The Irrigation and Drainage Department will identify the mitigation system that requires repairs and upgrades,” he saidHe, however, said other main factors such as unusual average rainfall and pipe system also contributed to flash floods.

“We will continue to work with the other relevant agencies regarding the matter,” he added.

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