A climate expert has warned of more natural disasters in the country because of climate change and called for a proper early warning system to be put in place immediately.
Fredolin Tangang, a climatology and oceanography specialist, said usually it was the east coast states that were affected by floods caused by the year-end rain.
This time, however, a tropical depression pressure system in the South China Sea moved into the peninsula and strengthened.
“This is the first time that it has crossed into the Klang Valley and strengthened itself at the Straits of Melaka, affecting Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur,” Tangang, a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia professor, told FMT.
A tropical depression is formed by air that moves towards lower areas, rises and creates thunderstorms with strong winds.
He said even though the depression had moved out of the peninsula and weakened, the country was still under the monsoon season.
“We are still in the monsoon season until February and there is a possibility of more strong winds and heavy rainfall,” he said.
Tangang said the department of environment needed to inform the public on the weather regularly to minimise the impact of any adverse weather condition.
He also said the authorities needed to relook and learn from the flood disaster that struck the Klang Valley over the weekend.
As of Monday afternoon, floods had displaced more than 40,000 people in six states. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were among the badly hit.
Banks must help out affected car owners
Meanwhile, Barjoyai Bardai of Universiti Tun Razak said the economic losses from the floods would be in the tune of billions with small businesses and households affected the most.
He said some people had lost almost all their belongings, valuables, electrical goods and cars.
Some insurance companies, he warned, may not cover loss of property or valuables during natural disasters, and this would create more anxiety among those who were just recovering from the impact of the various Covid-19 lockdowns.
Barjoyai said the banking industry must step forward to help those who had lost their cars because of the floods.
“They must help with a moratorium on the monthly loan instalments or add the cost of overhauling the vehicle into the owner’s monthly instalments,” he said.
“Do not exploit them because their cars will not have any second-hand value.” .
The Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa) questioned the effectiveness of the early warning system set up after the 2004 tsunami disaster.
“The government has also been talking about a warning system at coastal areas. On paper, we have an early warning system, but we need competent people to run it,” said Cassa president Jacob George.
He said the government should not go shopping for the latest technology after every disaster as the previous system might not even have been fully utilised.
George also called on the government to take on a leadership role by offering immediate aid to flood victims, and for Putrajaya to prepare a white paper on the floods to ensure that any future impact could be minimised.
Source : FMT