KUALA TERENGGANU - Terengganu, one of the east coast states most vulnerable to massive floods, was spared serious devastation from the first wave.
The state was put on high alert between Nov 24 and Nov 29, following an earlier forecast by the Meteorological Department of heavy rainfall and high tides.
Department deputy director-general Dr Mohd Rosaidi Che Abas said, however, the state was expected to be hit with up to three more waves between December and early January, resulting in certain rural and low-lying areas to be flooded.
Dr Mohd Rosaidi said that during the first wave, there was heavy rain on Nov 27 and 28, but it happened near the coast.
"The next round, Terengganu is expected to experience heavier rainfall compared to the first wave and this time it will include many rural areas.
"Serious floods are expected to hit the state if there is continuous rainfall for more than two days with over 100mm a day," he told The Star.
However, Terengganu folks could expect some consolation.
According to Dr Mohd Rosaidi, the floods this year would not be as bad as last year due to the El Nino weather phenomenon which might last until March.
Despite the news of lesser magnitude floods this year, the state government and rescue agencies are not taking the situation lightly.
Last year's ravaging floods saw some 100,000 people being displaced, causing losses amounting to RM304,000 (S$100,000).
This year, all agencies have been put on standby for any possibility.
Leave has been frozen for over 700 firemen in the state and simulation exercises have been carried out by the Fire and Rescue Department and the Civil Defence Department.