Warnings of flash floods

Ready for disaster: Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II staff members practising the setting up of barricades to avoid major floods in Kota Baru, Kelantan. Under the 11th Malaysia Plan’s First Rolling Plan, the government has approved a flood mitigation project for the hospital at a cost of RM8mil, with the aim of improving disaster-relief infrastructure in the state. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The Meteorological Department MetMalaysia warned that the monsoon is predicted to bring about continuous rain for four days, from Dec 17 to Dec 21, on the east coast states of the peninsula.

The wet weather is expected to last until early next year due to the northeast monsoon and the La Nina cycle, said its director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah.

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MetMalaysia has also issued a Category 1 warning – strong winds and rough seas – for Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, which is expected to last until tomorrow.

“A rise in the sea level is expected in waters in these states, and there is a risk of seawater flooding on the coast.

“MetMalaysia is monitoring this situation and will issue a ‘Continuous Heavy Rain Warning’ If needed,” said Muhammad Helmi.

He added that prolonged rain could cause the temperature to drop to 22°C on the East Coast.

Thunderstorms with heavy rain and strong winds are also expected within the peninsula’s west coast, west Sabah and north Sarawak in the afternoon to early parts of the night within the next few days.

ALSO READ: Nearly 3,000 displaced by floods, says minister

Yesterday, National Antarctica Research Centre meteorological expert Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah told Sinar Harian that the nation would experience significant flooding within the next three days due to heavy monsoon rain triggered by the active La Nina and negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phenomena.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) has issued a 24-hour flash flood warning in six states.

The affected states are Johor (Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar, Pontian and Tangkak), Pahang (Kuantan and Rompin), Terengganu (Kuala Terengganu and Marang), Penang (Seberang Perai Selatan), Perak (Bagan Datuk, Hilir Perak, Kerian, Larut, Matang, Selama, Muallim and Perak Tengah), and Negri Sembilan (Port Dickson).

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The warning was based on forecasts by MetMalaysia, the South-East Asia-Oceania Flash Flood Guidance System and the DID flood forecast model.

Checks on the MyPublic Infobanjir application showed that one river – Sungai Golok – in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas, Kelantan is in the “danger zone”.

As of yesterday at 4.30pm, the river, which reached 9.36m, or 4.36m higher than its normal level of 5m with just light rainfall (1mm), has started to recede.

The rivers in four states have also reached “warning levels”.

The eight rivers are Sungai Jempol, Sungai Keratong and Sungai Pahang in Pahang; Sungai Benawa, Sungai Long Teru and Sungai Marudi in Sarawak; Sungai Muar in Johor; and Sungai Tumpat in Terengganu.

Meanwhile, National Water Services Commission (SPAN) corporate communications and consumer affairs director Mohd Fazil Ismail said most dams in Peninsular Malaysia have reached their maximum level.

However, he said the situation is under control, adding that there were no closures of water treatment plants recorded in flooded areas as at 1pm yesterday.

“In total, there are 57 dams and of these, 47 are major dams (relating to raw water sources) in Peninsular Malaysia.

“The majority of dams have reached their maximum storage level.

“The other 10 are multi-functional dams such as for flood mitigation for dams regulated by the DID,” he said.

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MetMalaysia , monsoon , rain


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