Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - The full force of the northeast monsoon is expected to lash five states of Malaysia next month and people have been warned to be prepared for heavy flooding.
The Department of Irrigation and Drainage said the monsoon was expected to hit the east coast and several other parts of the country and flooding would occur mainly in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, between November and March.
Its Hydrology and Water Resources Division director Hanapi Mohamad Noor noted that the average annual rainfall was 3,000 millimetres , and added: "With 1,800mm registered from January to September, 1,200mm more is expected from October to December which is a lot."
Hanapi said flooding would happen if one month's amount of rainfall poured continuously for one to three days in the same area.
From October last year till last month, 227 cases of flooding were reported, with Selangor being the most hit with 70, followed by Perak with 40.
Hanapi said Selangor had more flooding because it was "exposed" to the southwest monsoon rains, the northeast monsoon rains and convectional rain. He also said Kuala Lumpur would face flash floods from mid-November to March, but the cause would be convectional rain.
A rainfall of more than 100mm per day was enough to cause flooding in urban areas but not in in rural or forested areas, Hanapi added,
He said the DID would use data from satellites, radars and the Global Forecast System to warn of floods.
Meteorological Department director-general Che Gayah Ismail said that El Nino was not expected to have any significant impact on rainfall during the monsoon season and the whole country was expected to receive normal average rainfall.
"However, three or four episodes of heavy rain are expected and in each, two to three days' non-stop rain will end in floods," she said in an e-mail.
She urged the public to be "sensitive to current weather conditions" and heed the department's warnings.