KUALA LUMPUR – The Drainage and Irrigation Department with the cooperation of the relevant agencies is conducting a new study on rainfall distribution owing to available data is only up to 2014.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar drew attention to the fact that in 2016 and last year, several locations which had never faced floods before like Kuching faced the fate due to excessive rainfall.
It is hoped that the study which is expected to be ready in April will provide more accurate data on areas at risk of floods,” he told reporters after opening the National Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre here today.
The centre which started operations end 2017 enlisted the Flood Forecasting and Warning System for three river basins namely Sungai Pahang, Sungai Terengganu and Sungai Kelantan.
Referring to the flood warning issued on Nov 27, 2017 for several locations in Kelantan and Terengganu, he said forecasting accuracy at about 90 per cent enabled the authorities to act early in evacuating people which minimised the impact of flooding.
In his speech, Wan Junaidi said the initiative (centre and system) costing RM550 million overall involved a total of 40 river basins whereby the work would encompass three phases.
The objective is provide at least two days warning on possible flooding. It is targeted at 3.4 million people living in areas at risk of floods and entails four main components – detection; forecasting; database and information and communication technology; and alerting and information sharing.
After phase one in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, the next two faces will be implemented in the remaining 37 river basins beginning this year and expected to be completed in 2022.
“When fully ready, it is estimated that 70 per cent of flood prone areas in the country will have the system in place,” said Wan Junaidi. – BERNAMA