KUALA LUMPUR — Flash floods are occurring in several states due to heavy rain and thunderstorms as the country undergoes the monsoon transition phase that is expected to last till November.
Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Helmi Abdullah said during the monsoon transition phase, the region will receive weak winds from various directions involving the West Coast and interiors of the Peninsular Malaysia, west coast of Sabah as well as west and central areas of Sarawak.
“Usually, the monsoon transition phase occurs from mid-September to Novemeber before the Northeast Monsoon begins, and this situation causes thunderstorms and heavy rain with strong winds in the evening to early night in addition to tornadoes and hail,” he told Bernama today.
“The weather pattern has the potential to cause flash floods, landslides, water surges, falling trees, lightning strikes and damage to unstable structures.”
Helmi adivsed the public to be alert and careful by taking shelter inside houses or buildings, and parking vehicles in safe areas, staying away from electrical conductor rods and tall structures as well as reservoirs during thunderstorms.
At the same time, he said most of the country’s waters are safe and calm to carry out activities at sea, however, the public is advised to be cautious and check with MetMalaysia if they want to carry out any activities at sea.
Meanwhile, National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) director-general Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus said his team was always prepared to to face the risk of flood disasters nationwide including in non-hotspot areas.
He said there are a total of 77 districts across the country except for those in Penang, Perlis and Kuala Lumpur that frequently experience floods with the highest number recorded in Sabah comprising 12 districts including Tenom, Beaufort, Penampang, Beluran and Kota Marudu.
This is followed by Johor with 10 districts including Johor Bahru, Kluang, Pontian, Batu Pahat and Kulai; nine districts each in Perak and Pahang; Kelantan and Terengganu (eight districts); Selangor (six), Sarawak (five), Kedah (four), and Negeri Sembilan and Melaka (three).
From the management aspect, he said the role of the district officer as the chairman of the District Disaster Management Committee (JPBD) is always strengthened through continuous training that also involves other responders including the district police chief and Social Welfare Department.
Khairul Shahril added that through the empowerment of the community-based disaster risk management programme (CBDRM), the role of the people as first responders is also seen to be increasingly encouraging, and according to him their level of knowledge and awareness in the face of disasters is also increasing. — BERNAMA