PUTRAJAYA, Sept 15 — About 300 of the 500 flood warning sirens nationwide are being upgraded to enable warning signals to be delivered more effectively to local residents, said Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) director-general Datuk Ir Dr Md Nasir Md Noh.
He said the warning sirens would have a loud and different sound than police or ambulance sirens and would be followed by announcements to alert residents that there would be flooding in their area.
“We are increasing the siren volume and will equip the system with public announcements. Before this, no announcement was made. These sirens are installed in critical areas throughout the country,” he said, adding that the system’s test run had been conducted with residents in certain locations.
Md Nasir said this during the Disaster Management Committee Secretariat and Technical Agencies-Media programme at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti near here today.
On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Central Disaster Management Committee meeting agreed that the early warning sirens should be different from other sirens such as ambulances and police patrol cars so as to avoid confusion.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the department would install five more weather radars by next year, taking the total number of radars nationwide to 19.
“With these radars, it can further strengthen the weather monitoring operation… we will be able to issue rain or thunderstorm warnings more quickly,” he said.
The northeast monsoon season will bring continued heavy rains that will lead to major flooding, especially in the east coast states.
Heavy rains are expected in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang from November to December 2022, while Johor, Sabah and Sarawak will face the monsoon from December 2022 to January 2023.