Malaysia: Prepare for high tides, Selangor folk told

FIRDAOUS FADZIL, CLARISSA CHUNG, JOASH EE DE SILVA, and ALLISON LAI The Star 12 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: Selangor residents have been warned of high tides this Sunday but higher tides may hit next month.

National Space Agency (Angkasa) research officer Mohd Redzuan Tahar said the high tides were expected to occur on Oct 17 due to the perigee, when the moon is closest to the Earth.

But the distance between the moon and the Earth would be even closer on Nov 14, he noted.

“This means we can expect much higher tides that day,” he said, adding that it would be the closest the moon to the Earth this year.

However, Mohd Redzuan said the distance between the moon and the Earth would not be the only factor causing much higher tides.

“It also depends on other factors such as strong monsoon wind speed,” he added.

He was commenting on reports that the high-tide phenomenon, which comes with big waves and strong winds, is expected to hit the west coast of the peninsula from Oct 17 to 20.

Selangor Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said RM4.3mil was released by the state last month to repair damaged barriers and to fortify bunds in the low-lying areas.

“We can’t say there will be floods as it depends on a number of factors.

“But if there is heavy rain, then the high-tide occurrence will be compounded,” she said.

Meanwhile, residents in the 17 coastal areas in Selangor have been advised to seek temporary shelter earlier at evacuation centres.

Selangor Disaster Management Committee secretary Kol Ahmad Afandi Mohamad said high tides were expected at 6am on Oct 16 and residents should not wait to evacuate.

He said that a total of 414 evacuation centres across the five coastal districts in the state – Klang, Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kuala Langat and Sepang – would be opened from 2pm on Oct 15.

“We are prepared,” Kol Ahmad Afandi said.

Areas that are expected to be affected in Klang include Sungai Serdang, Bandar Klang, Taman Melawis, Kampung Tok Muda, Pan­da­maran, Taman Selat Damai, Kampung Sungai Pinang, Kampung Sungai Lima and Pulau Ketam.

In Sabak Bernam, it’s Kampung Sungai Air Tawar and Sungai Tengar while in Kuala Selangor, Pasir Penambang, Bagan Pasir and Pantai Remis.

Pesisir Pantai Bagan Lalang in Sepang and Pantai Kelanang and Pesisir Tanjung Sepat in Kuala Langat may be affected too.

Kol Ahmad Afandi noted that the broken sea bunds in Kampung Tok Muda in Kapar last month that had been repaired were strengthened with an additional 350m stretch of sand bags.

“The additional sandbags were placed to prevent flood waters from seeping into the power station nearby,” he said.

He urged residents to stay calm and be cautious at all times, and co-operate with res­cuers.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul said all 32 fire stations throughout the state would be on standby.

He also called on residents to keep themselves updated on the latest developments by verifying with the relevant authorities instead of believing in information spread on social media.

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