Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 7 February 2007 – Malaysia will seek help from Japanese experts to develop a flood hazard mapping system which will enable the country to forecast the effects of global warming.
Malaysia’s Natural Resource and Environment Deputy Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan said the system will enable the government to predict the worst case scenario of flood disasters in 50 to 100 years due to climate change that had already taken its toll globally.
This will be a guide for future action on how to organise action during flood, the location of the relief centres and the best route to reach the disaster area since floods have been one of the most devastating natural disasters in East and Southeast Asia.
“It can also be a guide for land development. If the areas are likely to be flooded, we can advice the state governments not to develop the area. In case they want to develope the area, then they must have a contingency plan in case there is flood,” he told reporters after launching the “East and Southeast Asia Regional Seminar On Flood Hazard Mapping” here.
Sothinathan said with the flood hazard maps coupled with the GIS technology and other information such as the extent of the flood, the number of people involved could help to establish flood relief operations for the particular river basin.
Earlier in his speech Sothinathan said in addition the flood hazard maps could include probabilities of depths of flood inundation for risk assessment in a flood plain. “With the availability of flood hazards maps, flood insurance premiums can be determined more reasonably based on the degree of flood vulnerability.”
“For the ministry, the maps which contains maps for generating pollution characterisation and pollutant transport information are also very useful in environmental disaster manangement,” he said. He said in some developed countries, flood hazard maps were easily accessible to the public for public awareness and education.