Govt taking measures to face monsoon flooding, says minister

Raevathi Supramaniam

Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man says his ministry is focusing on low-cost, high-impact, short-term solutions to manage effects from the La Nina phenomenon, northeastern monsoon, and unexpected rainfall. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 5, 2022.

SEVERAL short- and long-term measures are being implemented to face the monsoon season flooding that is expected to hit Malaysia between November and January next year, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man told the Dewan Rakyat today.

The environment and water minister was responding to questions from Raub MP Tengku Zulpuri Raja Puji on the government’s plan and preliminary planning actions to deal with the possibility of major floods following the La Nina phenomenon, northeastern monsoon and unexpected rainfall.

“As an early preparation, the Environment and Water Ministry and Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) is focusing on short-term solutions that are high-impact and low-cost, such as maintaining the drainage system, deepening the river and fortifying river banks,” he said.

“DID is on standby with 284 pumps, 203 vehicles, 35 boats, 995 telemetry systems in the peninsula, 317 telemetry stations in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, 526 sirens, 77 cameras, 605 straight gauges for rivers, and 966 straight gauges for localities.”

As for long-term planning, Tuan Ibrahim said under the 12th Malaysia Plan, RM10.3 billion has been allocated for 100 embankment projects that are being implemented nationwide.

“These projects will increase the number of citizens who are protected from floods,” he said.

The National Flood Forecasting and Warning Program is also currently being implemented, he said.

“The programme is in its third stage and costs RM450 million. It will be used to complete 74 forecasting and warming models for the main rivers nationwide.”

Last week, the Meteorological Department said Malaysia will experience a transitional phase in the monsoon season from October 3 until November.

The department’s director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the start of the phase would mark the end of the southwestern monsoon that began on May 14.

Authorities are on flood alert this year following the massive floods that swept 11 states last December.

Dozens died while more than 120,000 were displaced last year.

The Statistics Department said in a special report on the impact of the floods that they had caused an estimated RM6.1 billion in overall losses.

Selangor was the worst hit state overall, with about half of the country’s losses from the floods recorded in the state, the report said. – October 5, 2022.

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