48-hour alert before floods

By ROY SEE WEI ZHI AND S.K. THANUSHA DEVI
FLOOD WARNING: Rainy season will serve as litmus test for newly-installed early warning system
Rural vs Urban
THIS monsoon season shall be the first real test for a newly-installed early warning and flood forecasting system which is a collection of software and weather apparatus.

The system, operational since last month, is able to forecast floods two days before they happen.

The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) has installed the system at five river basins, namely Sg Kelantan, Sg Pahang, Sg Johor, Sg Muda and Sg Kelang.

DID water resources and hydrology division director Hanapi Mohamad Noor said the robust system, which measured air pressure, humidity, wind speed, temperature and previous flood patterns, would enable the system to detect floods along river banks and low-lying areas.

Given the two-day advance notice, he said the public would have ample time to prepare for evacuation or to save their valuables.

“There is still some minor tuning that can be incorporated to the newly-developed system to improve its accuracy in forecasting future floods.”

The DID has been working hard to implement the warning system along with improving the department’s information dissemination infrastructure.

“The DID has successfully launched a new flood alert website, http://infobanjir.water.gov.my, that is more user-friendly compared with the old one.

“The public can easily browse and share the information with their friends through public social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter,” Hanapi said.

The website provided real-time river water levels at specified flood warning telemetric stations.

It will also announce details on current floods and on possible occurrence of floods, based on the new forecast system.

Read more: 48-hour alert before floods – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/48-hour-alert-before-floods-1.16447#ixzz1gLKeLxPO

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