News: Monsoon deluge begins a month early

The Star, November 6, 2012

PETALING JAYA: The heavy rainfall and flooding have come a lot earlier than expected, considering that last year’s northeast monsoon season only started a full month later.

“We were expecting the rainfall to come early, but not this early,” said National Security Council secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab.

Last year, he said, the council had braced for floods at the end of November, but “the waters only rose in the first week of December.

“This year, the rains started in October,” Thajudeen said, adding that the council was nonetheless ready for the worst, with all its national level meetings on flood preparations having been concluded a month ago.

The council said the worst hit states were Johor, Selangor, Perak and Malacca.

According to the council’s website (http://portalbanjir.mkn.gov.my/), the eight worst hit spots are Batu Pahat, Kluang and Ledang in Johor, Hilir Perak, Melaka Tengah and Jasin and Kuala Langat and Sepang in Selangor.

Flash floods also occurred in several areas in the Klang Valley following several hours of non-stop rain, causing massive traffic jams at stretches of the Federal Highway, including the road leading to the Subang airport.

There were no deaths, but the council said that 3,675 people had been evacuated to 35 relief centres as of press time yesterday, with the highest number recorded in Johor (2,042) followed by Selangor (1,255).

The portal said that over 10 rivers in Johor, Selangor, Perak, Perlis and Negri Sembilan had reached danger levels.

Motorists have, in the meantime, taken to Twitter to report a flash flood at Glenmarie, near the exit to the North Klang Valley Expressway.

A Twitter user @AjamHudson reported flooding at Kota Damansara while @meerakamaruddin tweeted that the floodwaters at PTPL College in Shah Alam rose to knee-high levels.

Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Berhad said: “Ensure that appliances that have been submerged under floodwaters are checked and tested by an electrician registered with the Energy Commission before using them again.”

In a statement, it urged people to remind their children not to go near fallen electric poles or exposed electric wires.

“If you see fallen electric poles or exposed electric wires, call the nearest TNB office immediately or TNB CareLine at 15454,” it said.

TNB said it would automatically shut down the power supply to an area once it detected a dangerous floodwater level.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, meanwhile, said contingency plans were in place to ensure minimal disruptions to the SPM and STPM examinations.

“The flood is nothing new, we face this every year. What is important is for those affected to follow instructions issued by the authorities if they need to be evacuated,” he said after opening the World Innovation Forum yesterday.

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/6/nation/12279185&sec=nation