Selangor to get flood warning system

Elill Easwaran

State executive councillor Izham Hashim says Selangor is better prepared to deal with future floods thanks to new measures, including a seven-day prior warning system. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, March 12, 2022.

SELANGOR is better prepared to deal with future floods thanks to new measures, including a seven-day prior warning system, state executive councillor Izham Hashim said.

The state infrastructure and agriculture committee chairman said state officials have more experience now, having learnt from massive flooding that unexpectedly struck many areas last December.

The seven-day prior warning system is still being fine-tuned, Izham told The Malaysian Insight.

“By the end of this month we will have a system that helps to predict floods seven days in advance, and the areas that will likely be most affected.

“This will help us to prepare better and have rescue teams on alert,” he said.

Unusually heavy rainfall before and over the weekend of December 17 to 18 caused massive flooding in several states, including Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Perak and Pahang.

Flooding displaced more than 70,000 people at its height and killed 54. Selangor was one of the worst-hit states, with 25 dead.

Izham said the December disaster led Selangor to review its flood management system.

Another measure in the works is an automated system for waterway sluice gates.

“With an automated system for our water gates, we don’t need to send people to handle them (manually), as this will take time.

“We are currently working on this and we hope to get it done soon,” said Izham.

After December’s floods, Izham had told The Malaysian Insight about the lessons learnt from that episode.

Besides the inexperience of some officers, he said personnel sent to handle the floods, were themselves trapped on highways or in their flooded homes.

Automated systems would enable action to be taken more swiftly.

Izham added that the state has learnt the importance of preparing more electricity generators for emergencies.

“When a flood happens, power stations are affected.

“This stops our pumps and water gates from working, so the generators have to be in place beforehand to prevent that from happening,” he said.

“We are now more experienced and committed to handling any sort of flood in the near future,” he added.

Damaged cars hit by floods are seen in Hulu Langat, Selangor on December 19, 2021. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, March 12, 2022.

Just three months after the Klang Valley saw its worst flooding since 1971, Kuala Lumpur and several parts of Selangor were again hit by flash floods on Monday.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department website showed that seven rivers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor exceeded dangerous water levels in just a few hours of afternoon rain.

Viral photos show cars stuck on flooded roads and water levels rising in car parks. This time however, flood-waters receded more quickly compared with December last year. – March 12, 2022.

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