PADANG BESAR, Aug 12 — The country’s early disaster warning system needs to be updated to raise the level of preparedness.
Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun said a faster and more effective system for detecting disasters would enable the authorities to be more prepared in dealing with emergencies.
“I was told that during the recent incident (storm) in Langkawi, the warning was given after it had happened and following that (the storm hit) Perlis. So the existing system needs to be fast and more efficient to detect disasters that are going to occur.
“The storm that lashed through Langkawi at 8 pm on Friday (Aug 9) was its worst. If the existing system was able to detect the warning signs earlier, perhaps the extent of damage could have been reduced,” she told reporters today.
Earlier she visited several houses that were damaged by strong winds and heavy rains which also wreaked havoc in Perlis on the same day.
Rina also attended a special disaster briefing given by state secretary Azman Mohd Yusof at the Perlis Civil Defence Force operations room here.
Heavy rains which were followed by strong winds affected the northern states of the peninsula, including Penang, Perlis and Kedah, causing power outages, damages to houses and public facilities and trees to fall or uproot.
There were 500 damaged homes in Perlis alone.
The minister said eight Kemas kindergartens, including one in Perlis and 48 houses under the supervision of the Kedah Regional Development Authority had been allocated immediate aid. — Bernama