Malaysia: Flooding in Penang Calls for Better Disaster Preparedness

DIANA JABLONSKI WRITES – Recently, Malaysia has suffered from a severe storm, resulting in massive flooding and local residents being forced to evacuate. The flood has caused at least seven dead in Penang, and has caused damage to nearby areas. Rescue troops have been sent to Penang to help the victims of the storm.

Many people have turned to social media to offer support and send prayers to those in Penang, especially via Twitter. People have tweeted prayers and offered support, hoping that the situation will return to normal.

The government has made various statements regarding the massive floods, stating how there need to be relief projects and advanced notice to residents of coming storms. According to a statement made by Chief Minister of Penang: “About 3,000 people had been evacuated and housed in temporary shelters as nearly 80 percent of Penang was hit by typhoon-like winds and heavy rain.”

The height of the floods rose 10 to 12 feet, which is unusually high compared to the previous floods that have occurred, making this one of the worst storms Penang has had in over a decade. Malaysia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environment has also reported that one billion USD will be refunded towards flood mitigation projects, including the building of dams to block off water.

Not only were residents of Penang affected by the storm, but factories and businesses as well. Penang’s manufacturing industry suffered 300 billion RM worth of losses because of the workers who did not show up. Penang FMM Chairman has requested that government should give prior notice of storms coming, similar to how the United States receives a two week advanced warning when a natural disaster is predicted to occur.

FMM Chairman has suggested teaming up with the Meteorological Department to enhance their systems to predict weather early on, the Meteorological Department issues warnings in three different colored categories, yellow being the lowest or no immediate rain, to orange being moderate, and red the highest or risky weather. The Meteorological Department issued a yellow to red warning only three days before the storm, which was said to be too short of time to properly prepare. Therefore, the government of Malaysia is speaking about updating their systems to more advanced ones that cater to disaster prediction.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.