Harsh news as Malaysia enters rainy season | Environmental news

Recent flooding around the world is a lesson learned as Malaysia prepares to battle rising waters.

People walking on a flooded road in Kota Bharu, Malaysia [AP]

In recent years, the world has been at the forefront of the devastation that severe flooding can cause, with Thailand and southern Pakistan being two of the most notorious areas affected.

Malaysia wants to be more proactive in preparation for the rainy season, and has been preparing for a longer-than-usual season. The Malaysian Meteorological Department predicts that rainfall in the country will increase by 20 to 40 percent compared to last year.

The Malaysian states expected to be the most affected are Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Kedah, and Sabah in southern Thailand. In addition to heavy rain, the Japan Meteorological Agency predicts that a storm surge will occur on December 25, causing further flooding along the coast.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the National Security Council (NSC) Flood Portal to provide local residents with continuous updates on weather forecasts and river water levels. The purpose is to better inform the public of impending dangers such as flash flooding.

More than 25,000 personnel from the Ministry of Civil Defense and general operations forces are on standby to deal with the emergency, which is expected to last from this month until March next year. The number of police and soldiers deployed to fight floods will also be increased.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin, who is also the Minister of Education, has conducted a preliminary survey of the most flood-prone schools across the region and is making advance relocation plans. The Ministry of Health is also planning well in advance by educating the public about the possible effects of waterborne diseases and sanitary measures to combat it.

In the coming months, it is not uncommon for monthly rainfall to reach up to 300 millimeters. But with this active season expected, totals could reach closer to 500 millimeters.

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