Repeat floods during the monsoon is an anomaly

Repeat floods during the monsoon is an anomaly
Unplanned development could also cause flooding, especially in the densely populated areas. - FILEpic
KUALA TERENGGANU: Floods in the east coast states during the monsoon season is normal, but to have the disaster struck Terengganu three times, from only twice normally during the monsoon, is an anomaly.

Several villages, like in Hulu Terengganu and Besut, which have never been affected by the floods, were also inundated.

Director of the East Coast Environmental Research Institute, Dr Hafizan Juahir said there are several factors which contributed to the anomaly, namely dysfunctional drainage system, unplanned usage of land and global climate change.

"It is also influenced by natural factors, like high rain fall distribution during the monsoon season," he said when contacted by Bernama.

He said based on his observation, especially in Terengganu, most of the drainage system is not linked to the huge drain and river system, that during heavy rain, the water is trapped and slow to recede.
The drains are dirty, with grass and other plants growing wildly in the watery ecosystem, he added.

He said unplanned development could also cause flooding, especially in the densely populated areas.

"Flash flood is bound to happen even with the government allocates millions in ringgit everytime there is flood for repair of the drainage system, river deepening and other flood mitigation projects.

"This happens due to usage of land that is not planned which causes the drainage system and the river to be shallow," he added.

He said the soil particles would be carried by the flow of water into the drainage system and then to the river.

There'll be silting in the drainage system and the river bed causing the drain to be clogged and the river to become shallow, he added.

On the global climate change, he said, it had led to an increase in world temperature resulting in the sea level to rise.

"This situation further worsens condition when the high tide meets the flood water, hence preventing the flow of water to the sea," he added.

As such, Hafizan expressed the need for the relevant authorities to pay heed to the three factors if changes were to be made and to avoid the people from suffering huge losses due to the floods.

Although this year's flood is considered an anomaly, there is also a positive light to it as it provided the opportunity for the security and welfare teams to improve coordination in the evacuation of flood victims.

Malaysian Civil Defence Force director Lieutenant Colonel Che Adam Abdul Rahman said the evacuation operation was carried out smoothly with the cooperation of all quarters, including the Village Security and Welfare Committee (JKKK) which had been trained to handle situations during floods.

"During the four phases of floods beginning last November, the evacuation process went smoothly, with no delay in the evacuation or victims trapped in the flood.

"We also thank the Social Welfare Department for working round the clock to ensure the safety and welfare of flood victims at the evacuation centres," he added. -- Bernama