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Friday, December 31, 2021

Alerts 2 days before floods by 2023, says ministry


Two weeks ago, Nadma was notified of the floods six-hours beforehand but with the new system, it will be alerted two days earlier.

KUALA LUMPUR: After the worst flood in half a century hit the country causing almost 50 deaths and billions in losses, the government now says Malaysians will get two days warning prior to floods by 2023.

A warning system called the flood forecast and warning system (PRABN) is currently being tried out in Kedah, Penang and Perak and is being developed in other states, the environment and water ministry said.

The ministry’s chief secretary Zaini Ujang said they would be installing the system in other states, including in the Klang Valley.Currently, the Water Level Trend Forecast alert system in the Klang Valley can only alert the public six hours prior to the floods.

Speaking at a press conference at the Flood Forecast and Warning Centre here, Zaini said that even when the water level rises to moderate level, the system would automatically inform the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

When the major floods hit two weeks ago on Dec 17 and 18, he said the six-hour alert system in the Klang Valley automatically notified Nadma. Real-time data was also updated on a website called My Info Banjir.

With the improved alert system, he said his ministry could inform the relevant agencies two days ahead of the floods.

The ministry was also planning to enhance the existing warning system using sirens, by incorporating real-time data from CCTVs and text messaging at river basins in the states.

“With the improved system, PRABN will be able to forecast floods seven days prior and give warnings to the people and agencies affected two days beforehand,” he added.

This would include giving real-time photos of the water levels and warnings through mobile phones.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob visited the centre and was briefed on the operations and the SOPs during a disaster.

PRABN has been in round-the-clock operation since 2018 following the massive floods in 2014 that hit eight states including Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Johor and Sarawak. - FMT

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