Floods in Selangor: Bad weather warnings issued, but ignored – PM Ismail Sabri
KUALA LUMPUR,. The assumption that only the east coast states will get affected by the northeast monsoon surge had caused the unusual floods in Selangor on Dec 18 as warnings of continuous heavy rains were ignored by certain parties involved in disaster management.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) had in fact issued six bad weather warnings involving continuous heavy rains, including in Selangor, prior to the disaster, which some parties failed to take heed.
“I should stress it here that the floods in Selangor were unexpected and the weaknesses (of the relevant agencies) identified at the state and district levels had caused me to interfere,” he said when tabling the papers on the flood disaster which occurred at the end of last year at the Special Meeting of Dewan Rakyat here today.
He said other states were also hit by floods at the end of last year, and some east coast states like Pahang suffered from the disaster on a much larger scale.
However, as the disaster management machinery in the state was properly in place and in a full state of preparedness, the disaster could be handled well.
Ismail Sabri said the unusual floods in Selangor on Dec 18 occurred as the amount of rainfall recorded that day had equalled the average amount of rainfall for a month, and the situation was worsened by the high tide.
“Due to this unexpected flood, a chaotic situation occurred on the first day of flood management in Selangor, resulting in the rescue team facing difficulties in carrying out operations due to the complexity of urban flooding.
“And the flood management in Selangor did not show significant improvement on the second and third day, causing dissatisfaction among the victims,” he said.
He said due to the delay in the rescue operation and the delivery of aid coordinated by the state and district fire departments in Selangor, he decided to call for several meetings to get an explanation of the flood situation and issues that needed immediate action.
“It shouldn’t be me calling and chairing the meeting…there should have been committees already set up (for the purpose) in these states,” he said.