Limit activities in vulnerable locations during thunderstorms, says MetMalaysia DG

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The public has been warned to limit activities in vulnerable locations like the riverbank in the afternoon following frequent thunderstorms at the time.

The director-general of the Malaysian Meteorological Service (MetMalaysia), Muhammad Helmi Abdullah, said those planning to go to sea or visit holiday islands should heed MetMalaysia’s strong winds and rough seas warnings.

“Information about strong winds and rough seas is important for tourists wishing to travel by sea to avoid being trapped on holiday islands. Make sure you get authentic information from MetMalaysia,” he said when speaking in the Bernama TV program titled “Ruang Bicara”. Amaran Awal and Tindakan Awal (“Early Warning and Early Action”) on Tuesday evening (March 22nd).

According to Muhammad Helmi, warnings of strong winds and rough seas can be issued earlier than heavy rain and thunderstorms, which radar imagery can only detect after cloud formations have been detected or thunderstorms have already begun in a location.

He said warnings of thunderstorms could not be issued in advance because the technology to detect a thunderstorm’s precise location was yet to be developed.

He said early warnings for landslides are difficult to issue because there are multiple factors causing this natural disaster, including geological factors and heavy rainfall.

“As such, residents living in risk areas must always be aware of MetMalaysia thunderstorm warnings and always be aware of their surroundings as a precautionary measure,” said Muhammad Helmi.

He said in conjunction with World Meteorology Day on Wednesday (March 23) MetMalaysia is committed to raising public awareness so people can exercise vigilance against extreme weather conditions, earthquakes and tsunamis. He said the department will conduct various promotional activities to increase people’s knowledge of the services it provides.

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