As the Northeast Monsoon season approaches, Malaysians are being cautioned about the potential dangers of engaging in recreational activities in certain vulnerable areas. This monsoon season, expected to commence in the middle of the upcoming month and persist until March 2024, brings with it the risk of heavy rainfall and potential flooding.
The Fire and Rescue Department, under the leadership of Director-General Datuk Seri Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin, has stressed the importance of curbing activities such as hiking, camping, jungle trekking, and excursions at waterfalls. Such areas become particularly perilous during heavy rain episodes, which can lead to flash floods and other related hazards.
Historically, Malaysia has been subjected to two distinct monsoon seasons. The Southwest Monsoon, which spans from May to September, and the more intense Northeast Monsoon, known for its heavy rainfall, especially impacting the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and western Sarawak.
The Northeast Monsoon, often referred to as the rainy season, has been a cause for concern for many local communities. Areas, particularly the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, encompassing states like Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, become susceptible to flooding during this period, as reported by The Sun Daily.
The Meteorological Department, also known as MetMalaysia, has projected four to six episodes of intense rainfall from the next month until February 2024. Such predictions further emphasize the need for caution and preparedness among the public.
In anticipation of potential emergencies, the Fire and Rescue Department has proactively frozen 80% of leave for its officers and personnel. This move ensures that a majority of their workforce is available and ready to respond to any flood-related incidents.
Beyond the immediate dangers posed by the monsoon, there’s a broader impact on transportation, infrastructure, and daily life. Flooding can disrupt road networks, damage properties, and pose significant risks to those living in low-lying areas.
The government, along with local authorities, has been working diligently to ensure public safety. Regular advisories, community engagement programs, and emergency response drills are some of the measures undertaken to prepare for the monsoon season.
As the monsoon season draws near, Malaysians are urged to stay informed, heed official advisories, and prioritize safety. Engaging in recreational activities in vulnerable areas not only puts individual lives at risk but also strains the resources of emergency responders.
The collaboration between various departments, timely warnings, and public cooperation are crucial in ensuring that the Northeast Monsoon season passes with minimal disruptions and tragedies. Preparedness and caution are the need of the hour.