KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — The government plans to increase siren stations that are also equipped with public announcements at flood-prone areas to warn residents and also to instruct them to evacuate.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a statement today said this was part of the proposed improvements discussed in the Post-Northeast Monsoon Flood Disaster Management Task Force special meeting which he chaired today.

He said the proposed improvements also include having a Centralised Flood Siren Warning System coordinated by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID); closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at river level monitoring stations to enable residents to be prepared to evacuate should the river water reach the danger level; and also Numerical Weather Prediction.

Ismail Sabri said in order to enhance protection for drainage and beach infrastructure, the Ministry of Environment and Water (Kasa) proposed an increase in the average recurrence interval (ARI) from 100 years to 200 years.

Apart from that, the meeting also looked into the proposals to improve communications, education and public awareness (Cepa) through flood simulations and information disseminated by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM).

“The strategic communications cluster led by KKMM has been active in disseminating information since the beginning of the northeast monsoon and efforts had also been intensified since the second wave of floods was forecasted to ensure that residents and the country as a whole, would be better prepared and things would be better controlled,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said strategic communications involved announcements on warnings and information on the current situation, government aid, arising issues, efforts to detect fake news and issuance of rebuttal of fake news.

He said for that purpose, the platforms being used are the mass media, social media, Information Department channels, as well as through go-to-the-ground, advocacy, publication and engagement efforts.

He added that the implementation of all the initiatives would be constantly monitored by the Task Force to ensure the national disaster preparedness and management mechanisms would always be improved and at the optimum level. — Bernama