Ready to face the storm


Emergency drill: A ‘flood victim’ escaping from a submerged car during a Public Flood Survival Programme organised by Malaysia International Search and Rescue (Misar) during a simulation exercise held in Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

Nadma: We’re prepared for floods and even the public has been trained

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is prepared for any flood as the country goes into the monsoon transition phase expected to last until November.

National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) director-general Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus said 77 districts have been identified as areas that frequently experience floods.

“Nadma is always prepared to face the risk of flood disasters nationwide, including in non-hotspot areas.

ALSO READ: All hands on deck for floods

“So far, Sabah has recorded the highest number of floods – in 12 districts, including Tenom, Beaufort, Penampang, Beluran and Kota Marudu,” he said when contacted.

Johor is second with floods in 10 districts, including Johor Baru, Kluang, Pontian, Batu Pahat and Kulai; followed by Perak and Pahang with nine districts each that are listed as flood-prone areas; Kelantan and Terengganu (eight each); Selangor (six); Sarawak (five); Kedah (four); and Negri Sembilan and Melaka (three each).

The 77 districts do not include Penang, Perlis or Kuala Lumpur because they do not experience frequent flooding.

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Khairul Shahril said there had been positive development in the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management programmes under Nadma, where the public serves as first responders during emergencies such as flash floods.

“Members of the public have displayed better awareness and knowledge of emergency preparedness, especially when it comes to flash floods,” he added.

He said Nadma will also continue to train district officers, usually the district disaster management committee chairman, to prepare for any disaster, as well as other responders from the relevant district police and even the Social Welfare Department.

Separately, Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Helmi Abdullah said the country will experience weak winds from various directions that are conducive to the occurrence of thunderstorms during the monsoon transition phase, which began on Sept 19.

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He said the west coast and interiors of Peninsular Malaysia, the west coast of Sabah, and the west and central areas of Sarawak are expected to experience the transition phase.

“The monsoon transition phase typically occurs from mid-September to November before the northeast monsoon begins, which will bring thunderstorms and heavy rain with strong winds in the evening to early night, in addition to tornadoes and hail,” Helmi said.“The weather pattern has the potential to cause flash floods, landslides, water surges, falling trees, lightning strikes and damage to unstable structures.”

He also advised the public to be aware of weather forecasts and warnings by the MetMalaysia official website, myCuaca mobile application, and official social media platforms if they plan to head out to the sea or any outdoor activities.

“The public must be cautious during the transition phase and seek shelter in their homes or buildings, park their vehicles in safe areas, and stay away from electrical conductor rods and high structures as well as reservoirs during thunderstorms,” he said.

Helmi added that the public can call MetMalaysia’s hotline at 1300 22 1638 for more information.

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