While most of us Malaysians take the cool weather as a welcomed break from our usual sweaty ‘n’ sticky heat, a lot of us aren’t prepared for anything volatile.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department has advised Malaysians to be mindful of harsh weather as the country experiences the shift of the monsoon season now until mid-May.
The MET department said states in the west coast and central of the Peninsula, west coast of Sabah, as well as west and central of Sarawak will be heavily affected by the monsoon shift. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds are expected during this period in the late evenings.
Department director-general Alui Bahari said to NST that the peak of the monsoon shift will take place in April. This will trigger strong wind, heavy rain and flash floods that will last between one and two hours. Especially in the afternoons and early evenings.
He urged the public to take note of the weather development and forecasts, although heavy rain and lightning storms were forecasted to last only for about one or two hours. Alui also urged the public to avoid being in open space when it rains and to not park vehicles close to tall trees as they can fall due to strong wind.
To avoid any mishap and take his advice, here are 5 basic safety precautions that you need to know:
- Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
- The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
- If there’s a flash flood, DO NOT try to walk or swim in it.
- When driving your car during heavy rainfall, reduce speed and do not overtake another vehicle. Leave enough distance between vehicles. Park your vehicle completely off the road if necessary and turn on your vehicle’s emergency flasher and lights.
Get their weather updates from MetMalaysia’s website at www.met.gov.my, myCuaca mobile application or via MetMalaysia Facebook and Twitter or short messaging system at 15888 as well as its hotline at 1300221MET (1638).