High tide flooding alert over next 4 months

SHAH ALAM, 21 Sept 2017: 

The Selangor Disaster Management Committee has advised residents in five districts which have been identified as at risk of being affected by the high tide phenomenon to be more careful and abide by the instructions of rescue agencies in preparation for the possibility of flood.

The five districts which are at risk of being hit by phenomenon are Klang (Pengkalan Tok Muda, Batu 4 Jalan Kapar, Ban Semesta, Port Klang and Jalan Pandamaran-Banting; Tebuk Mendeling, Sungai Air Tawar and Sungai Panjang (Sabak Bernam); Tanjung Karang, Kampung Kuantan, Pantai Remis and Pekan Sungai Buloh (Kuala Selangor);  Bagan Lalang coastal area (Sepang) as well as the Pantai Kelanang and Pantai Tanjung Sepat coastal areas in Kuala Langat.

The high tide phenomenon is expected to occur for four months – with the first from now until tomorrow, Oct 6 to 9, Nov 4 to 7 and Dec 4 to 7 – when the seawater level is expected to reach 5.6m.

State Disaster Management Unit head Ahmad Fairuz Mohd Yusof said all preparations had been made – including strengthening and raising the embankment along the affected coastal areas to stop high seawater overflow in settlement areas, resulting in floods.

He added that in the event of heavy rain and strong winds occurring during the phenomenon, the seawater level would be higher – making it necessary to close the  water control gates to prevent the seawater going into the canals and causing worse floods.

“We cannot predict if floods will occur or not, but we can only prepare and implement the necessary measures. The affected areas are being improved and work in some have been completed,” he said after the preparatory meeting to face high-level disasters here yesterday.

He urged all parties not to take warnings issued by the affected areas lightly in order to facilitate rescue and evacuation of victims in flood-hit areas.

Ahmad Fairuz said the flood evacuation centres have been opened one day earlier than the date of the high tide phenomenon to make it easier for affected residents to move to a safe place during floods.

Meanwhile in GEORGE TOWN, the Penang government has been urged to stop blaming the weather and rain each time several areas in the state are hit by flash floods.

Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said the state government should instead realise there were more and more areas that had never been hit by floods before, were now inundated each time there was a heavy downpour.

There were 23 incidents of flash floods across the state occurring between 2015 and September, this year, he noted.

“I think this disaster is linked to uncontrolled land development and clearing of hills and hill slopes, as well as sea reclamation.

“I don’t deny that  there were flash floods before, but nowadays they occur more often, so much so whenever there are dark clouds above, people in Penang get uneasy and worried about being hit by flash floods if it rains heavily,” he said in a statement.

Zainal Abidin said he welcomed the suggestion that the federal government should cooperate with the state government in solving the frequent flash flood problem, particularly in the Sungai Pinang basin.

He said the federal government had never stopped providing allocations for flood control and mitigation plans in Penang although the state’s administration was being led by DAP since 2008.

He noted that the federal government had spent RM2 billion on flood control projects in Penang, namely RM1.493 billion under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) including RM34 million for cleaning and treating Sungai Pinang, and RM404.5 million under the 11MP.

He said RM150 million was approved in November, 2016 for the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project. “Now I want to ask how much have the Penang state government and local authorities spent to overcome the flood problem since DAP started ruling Penang?”

Zainal Abidin said the state government required a Flood Prevention Master Plan more than a Transportation Master Plan. “It’s because, what’s the use of building a good network of roads and other land public transport facilities when the roads and vehicles are submerged in flood waters after a downpour?

“If they (state government) could spend RM305 million just to carry out studies for a project which the people don’t need now, why couldn’t they spend the same amount on solving the flash flood problem?”

– Bernama

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