“We Are Living in The Era of Climate Change”: M’sians Tie Deforestation To The Recent Massive Flooding

(source: Malay Mail)

If 2020 was not bad enough, 2021’s New Year greeted fellow Malaysians with a horribly massive flood. The heavy rains and thunderstorms are mostly affecting parts of the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia as of 4 January.

The conditions have led to flooding in parts of Johor, Pahang, and Terengganu states, displacing thousands. At least one local died, and two others are missing for now. Reports have also indicated that the flooding blocked major roads, including those connecting Pahang state’s Kuantan and Batu Pahat as well as Kluang and Mersing in the state of Johor.

There were also two landslides reported at Fraser’s Hill, Raub and Kemamang, Terengganu.

As of yesterday, the flood situation in Perak, Pahang, Terengganu and Selangor has worsened as the number of evacuees in relief centres was reported to be increasing, while Johor and Kelantan saw a slight drop in the number of evacuees.

With all of this devastating news flooding our social media platforms, many Malaysians are bringing up topics like climate change, and mostly – tree logging. Check out what netizens have to say:

It’s clear that Malaysians are worried. A simple Google search will show that deforestation plays a massive role in the flooding equation because trees prevent sediment runoffs and forests hold more water than farms or grasslands.

The flood equation is simple. If a river cannot handle the load of water it is required to carry, it will rise above its banks. This causes floods. The eroded sediment will not only choke rivers but will also cause mudflow that is much more destructive than normal flood water.

As Lionel Perera wrote in an open letter to The Star back in 2014, “There will be some parties who will blame the unexpected weather or global warming for the flood. But deep down, they know that deforestation and illegal vegetable farmers are to be blamed too. If you mess with mother nature, you will have to pay a price sooner or later”.

Looking at how 2021 started, the “sooner or later” is now.

Click here to learn about the climate crisis and NGOs that are fighting against it.

With that, here’s how you can help victims of the recent flooding:

(source: BERNAMA)