Early warning system needed for unusual weather


Nowhere to go: A car submerged in floodwaters when flash floods hit Kemuning Utama in Shah Alam.

PETALING JAYA: The “late alert” given to the public about the current unusual weather conditions has been questioned by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who proposes that Malaysia set up a credible early warning system on such phenomena.“Malaysia should have such a system to inform everybody in a regular and timely fashion,” said the chairman of Alliance For Safe Community, a civil society organisation.

He said many parts of the country had been experiencing unusual weather patterns over the last two days.

“There has been incessant rainfall, which has caused flooding in places that were previously unaffected.

“Households in many parts of the Klang Valley and other parts of the country were caught unawares and were not prepared for the continuous rainfall that caused their houses to be flooded,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Lee said several areas in Kuala Lumpur were affected, with some cars being washed away by fast-flowing floodwaters that turned “roadways into waterways”.

He noted that there were videos on social media of motorcyclists losing their balance and almost paying with their lives when water surged onto some roads.

“Residents are now asking why they were not forewarned of the impending wet weather by the Malaysian Meteorological Department.“The department issued a statement this afternoon (yesterday), almost two days after the continuous rainfall and long after many people had been affected.

“Why was the department late in sounding the alarm bell?” he added.

Lee said that with the current challenges posed by Covid-19 and rising food prices, residents should not be caught flat-footed by predictable acts of nature.

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