More rainfall expected in Malaysian east coast states until today

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian Meteo­rological Department has predicted rains to continue in the east coast states until today.

It issued an orange alert yesterday, indicating continuous rain averaging 0.4mm to 4mm per hour, lasting over a day and above.

Above orange is red, the highest alert given out by the department indicating heavy continuous downpour, with at least 100mm of rain per day lasting for a day or more.

Its director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said a mild monsoon surge was also expected between tomorrow and Saturday, bringing with it sporadic rain.

She added that over the next week, there was a chance of early morning rain over the coasts of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, northern Sarawak and east Sabah.

Over the weekend, downpours in Terengganu led to some flooding in the Hulu Terengganu area, with the Terengganu river and the Kemaman river breaching the danger levels.

Civil Defence Department director-general Ogu Salim Omar said they were prepared, having learnt lessons from last year's floods in Kelantan.

"The people are more aware of these sorts of disasters. I would say that we are over 50 per cent more prepared compared to last year," he said.

He added that in the event of floods, the Civil Defence Emergency Response Team at Community Level would provide relief as first responders, including assisting eva­cuees to relief centres.

Meanwhile, the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) forecast a more than 90 per cent chance that the El Nino weather phenomenon would continue and possibly have maximum strength in the November-December-January season, after which it is expected to gradually dissipate.

Most of Malaysia, ASMC said, would have 30 per cent to 40 per cent less rainfall than the long-term average.

"For the near-equatorial region, extended periods of dry and occasional windy weather conditions can be expected.

"There is a high probability of below normal rainfall over the Philippines and the north-eastern part of Borneo," it added.