KUALA LUMPUR – People in the east coast states will get flood warnings one week before the disaster strikes when the Flood Forecast and Alert Programme (PRAB) begins operations in November.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said 350 hydrology stations were currently being set up in river basin areas in Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu to allow for the system to operate.
“The system to be under the Drainage and Irrigation Department, will forecast floods as early as seven days compared to the existing system which is three days,” he told reporters after the department’s Hari Raya celebrations held here today.
Also present was its director Datuk Seri Zulkefli Hassan.
He said the system which would be controlled by the National Flood Forecast Centre (PRABN) under the department would obtain rainfall data through the hydrology system which would be installed in ‘hot’ spots which are flood-prone.
Wan Junaidi said the data that is collected would be sent to relevant agencies including the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force to tackle the impending floods.
“The system can provide an earlier forecast when a flood will occur and how big its impact would be based on data obtained from the radar, so the relevant authorities have ample time to make preparations including evacuating the public before the flood hits,” he said.
He said that the system, which had the cooperation of the Malaysian Meteorological Department, would later be extended throughout the country.
The PRAB would be fully installed in three states by next year but would already be operating by November, he added. – BERNAMA