Monsoon ready: More than 6,000 relief centers around Malaysia on standby for flash floods

Photo: A piece of furniture floating around Kg Tengah in Selangor during the 2021 floods/File pic
Photo: A piece of furniture floating around Kg Tengah in Selangor during the 2021 floods/File pic

In anticipation of potential flooding during the northeast monsoon season, 6,010 temporary relief centers have been identified nationwide, according to Rina Harun, minister of women, family, and community development.

She said that the social welfare agency (JKM) was fully prepared, with necessary supplies for flood victims already in disaster storage facilities around the country awaiting instructions to be handed out.

The fact that 35% of these assistance centers were also listed as polling places for the general election (GE15) on Nov. 19 raised immediate concerns, according to Rina.

“So, let us pray that no major floods occur in the near future and also on polling day,” she told reporters at a Perikatan Nasional speech here last night.

Yesterday, Pahang, Selangor, Johor, and Sarawak received a warning from the drainage and irrigation department about the potential for flash floods.

The notification was based on rainfall projection data from the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) and the Southeastern Asia-Oceania flash flood guidance system, according to the agency.

On Tuesday, several areas in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur were hit by flash floods which forced election candidates for the upcoming polls to scrap their campaigning events. 

Flash floods were reported in several areas in Shah Alam at 3pm after a heavy downpour – Taman Sri Muda and Bukit Naga were among the areas that were affected.

The Selangor Fire and Rescue Department said that the roads around Taman Sri Muda were flooded due to clogged drains despite the Sri Muda water lock being in operation, said its director Norazam Khamis who was quoted as saying by Bernama. 

He added that the roads around the residential areas in Bukit Naga in Shah Alam were also flooded due to blocked drains.

Last year Malaysia witnessed widespread flooding like never before which displaced more than 100,000 people and left 54 dead.

Meanwhile, Met Malaysia warned on Nov. 4 that the northeast monsoon will hit the nation this week.

It said the high tide phenomenon may occur starting Sunday (Nov. 6) until Nov. 11 and Nov. 22 until 27, followed by Dec. 7-12, Dec. 22-26, Jan. 6-10, and Jan. 21-25. 

The monsoon was previously expected to start around the middle of November. 

The public has been urged to be ready and always vigilant for information, advisories, and weather warnings provided by MetMalaysia through its official website, the myCuaca mobile app, and all of the department’s social media platforms.

The department’s hotline, 1-300-22-1638, is also open to the general public for inquiries.

RELATED: Malaysia’s weather agency warns northeast monsoon expected to start next week until March 2023

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