Thursday October 18, 2012
Klang Valley folk on rain and flash flood alert
PETALING JAYA: Travelling home after work is going to be a nightmare for city folk as heavy rainfall which began in mid-September and flash floods are expected to continue over the next two weeks.
Meteorological Department director-general Che Gayah Ismail said: “We expect the typical inter- monsoon weather, which is afternoon thunderstorms, to continue until the end of the month.”
She said west coast states would experience more frequent thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the evenings and at night.
“Generally, the entire west coast, west Sabah and the interior of Sarawak will experience heavy rain throughout October,” she added.
The Klang Valley is among the areas expected to be badly hit.
Heavy rainfall is defined as 50mm of rainfall per hour or more.
“In certain areas in the Klang Valley, even 30mm of rainfall can cause flash floods,” Che Gayah said.
If heavy rain persists for an hour or more, flash floods were likely in low-lying areas, she added.
The public can get the latest information on weather conditions by visiting the MET website at www.met.gov.my or calling its 24-hour hotline 03-7967 8116.
The Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department said it had been receiving increasing distress calls over the past week, with vehicles getting stuck in floodwaters.
Its director Khirudin Drahman said its personnel in flash flood-prone areas, such as Gombak, Jinjang, Sri Hartamas, Setapak, Cheras and Sungai Besi, were on high alert.
“We are alerted by the Meteorological Department about four hours before flash floods are expected to occur, and we often send out our rescue teams to these locations immediately,” he added.
He noted that the Malaysian Highway Authority alerted radio stations on which locations and roads people should avoid and hoped that the public would listen to the live updates.
Khirudin said the department had put all its 264 fire stations nationwide on alert and added that its 478 boats, 96 jet skis, 86 lorries and seven helicopters were ready for use.
In PENANG, authorities are carrying out maintenance work in flood-prone areas such as the Sungai Pinang river bank, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kampung Masjid and Kampung Dodol.
Three flood mitigation projects are being undertaken, one of which involves the upgrading of a 455m stretch of drain along Perak Road.
Meanwhile, Johor, which was hit by major floods in 2007 and 2010, is on high alert with 638 relief centres being prepared.
The flood-prone areas include Kota Tinggi, Segamat, Batu Pahat, Tangkak and the surrounding areas of Sungai Skudai, Sungai Masai and Sungai Tebrau.