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Malaysia: Lessons from the flooding disaster

Last week, flooding hit several areas in the Sarawak State of Malaysia. More than 8,000 people in the Bau District were evacuated in 24 temporary shelters. The flooding was the worst in three years. Water level rose up to the waist level.

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Flooding in Bau, Sarawak. Pictures from the blog of Denis

a better future advises the government to sum up the lessons of the flooding disaster:

“Immediate relief was going on quite well but the Government could have done better if they had marked all the flood sections of the roads with bamboo poles or other alternatives with clear signs to show how deep the flood level is. It would have made it easier for monitoring as well as for traffic to decide whether to “swim” through or not. These markers can be used for future planning especially in the upgrading of the main trunk roads.

“Thus unless we have proper records of flood levels in flood prone areas to guide future planning and implementation of projects, we will have more unnecessary problems due to poor implementations by the respective agencies involved in future.

“Hopefully the Government has learned all the lessons so that future floods will be less disruptive, not only in Bau but throughout Sarawak and if possible Malaysia. The main trunk roads should be built to be weather-proof, meaning the level to which they must be constructed must be above the highest known flood level. Police stations and critical government buildings must be sited in non flood prone areas, where possible. If not, then the site of any buildings should be dumped to raise it above the known flood level at the very least. Access to these buildings must be also flood proofed where possible.”

The Lost Aborigine urges leaders to prioritize the flooding issue over other foreign matters:

“How about the flood relief to those affected area especially those poor villages like Serian, Padawan, Bau and some in Sibu and Miri? Why we so busy with Gaza but our own people are helpless and dying? The Malaysian attitude is that we ignore our household affair and get busy with other issue that it less related to us.”

Nana Natu notes that the flooding was the worst in 20 years:

“Sarawak River showed yesterday its might when it burst it banks and water spilled into Kuching Waterfront.And the floods descrides by Kuchingites as the worst flood in 20 years, caused massive trafic jam, halted business and caused panic among some who anticipated that worst was yet to come. There were no warnings. The flood this year is worse then the one in 2004.And the floods caused 119 schools closed.”

Sounding Intelligent writes the possible causes of the flooding:

“I am in no position to say what the actual cause of the recent flood is but I firmly believe that it is man-made. After all, who constructed levees that forced rivers into narrow channels? Who destructed the wetlands that once absorbed excess rainfall? Who contributed to global warming?

“Global warming is a real threat. It is affecting weather patterns, creating a modest increase in violent downpours and melting ice all over the world, causing an avalanche of effects.

“Despite these warnings, some people still continue to be selfish, refuse to switch to cleaner fuels or reduce their carbon footprints somehow.”

The flooding disaster was not limited to Malaysia. Flooding also hit several parts of the Philippines, Indonesia and Fiji.

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