Malaysia: Residents reminded to take necessary precautions for monsoon weather

zazali musa The Star 16 Sep 17;

JOHOR BARU: All agencies and departments in Johor are well prepared for floods which normally hit the state at the end of the year.

Johor health, environment, information and education committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said there were regular meetings on preparations made in anticipation of the floods.

He said the meetings involved various groups including the state Civil Defence Department, Fire and Rescue Department, local authorities, district officers and non-governmental organisations.

Ayub said it was important to reach out to the people, especially those living in flood-prone areas, and ensure they were ready to face the floods.

He said residents living in flood-prone areas should not take things for granted as floods were yearly occurrences in several parts of Johor during monsoon season.

“However, the flood patterns might change from year to year, depending on the amount of rainfall and how long it rains,” Ayub said.

He said continuous heavy rain for hours or days would normally raise the water levels at rivers and pose a risk to those living along the riverbanks.

Among the factors that contributed to the floods were changes in weather including global warming and the rising water levels at oceans worldwide because of melting ice, he said.

Johor was badly hit by floods early this year as eight out of 10 districts in the state were affected.

Some 8,204 people from 2,428 families were placed in 70 flood relief centres statewide.

Ayub advised residents to refrain from dumping rubbish in waterways including drains and rivers to prevent flash floods.

“Look at the drains around you.

“You can see all sorts or rubbish dumped indiscriminately by people.

“But when flash floods occur in their areas, they blame the authorities,” he said.

He said ongoing property development projects, especially in urban and suburban areas, that did not take into account the capacity of their drainage system also contributed to flash floods.

“Developers must ensure their drainage system is able to handle large volume of rainwater and they must be more responsible to ensure the area is not prone to flash floods,” added Ayub.