Changes in rainfall patterns among causes of flash floods

KUALA TERENGGANU: The frequent extraordinary flash floods in the country are a result of changes in rainfall patterns and uncontrolled development, besides other factors, said Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Ir Hamim Samuri.

As such, he said, the ministry was currently focused on ensuring that the flood mitigation schemes (RTB), were implemented according to the plans, and on giving advice to the agencies responsible for flood risks associated with changes in rainfall patterns.

"The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) will continue to advise the federal government, state governments, including the local authorities, and the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) on possible floods based on the changing rainfall patterns.”

He said this to reporters after opening the Conference on Storm Water Management - Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, attended by 150 participants comprising senior DID officers, contractors, developers, consultants and representatives of other government agencies, today.

The conference was among initiatives by the DID to discuss the latest policies, guidelines and technology in an effort to prevent the occurrence of flash floods and environmental degradation.

The outcome of the discussions will be gathered by the DID and Malaysian Stormwater Organisation (MSO), for submission to the government.

Hamim hoped that everyone involved would be more prepared for the changes as it was difficult to predict the rainfall in an area, as the rainfall patterns had changed drastically since last year.

"For example, areas which had never been been hit by flash floods are now affected. In addition, rainfall at the river basin areas used to be distributed evenly but these days even the catchment areas do not receive enough rain.

"The flash floods are not due to design flaws or the fault of the DID… but are caused by climate change, and the public must understand this so that they will be better prepared,” he said. However, he added, the DID would try to manage the situation as best as possible, especially in advising the government and informing the public. — Bernama