Rising number of hotspots in Malaysia amid dry spell

Rising number of hotspots in Malaysia amid dry spell

19 February 2014

published by www.channelnewsasia.com

Malaysia — Malaysia has been encountering extreme weather conditions of late.

While East Malaysia is battling flash floods, the west has been hit by a prolonged hot and dry spell.

This has sparked more than 5,000 bush and peat fires across the peninsula which is more than 1,000 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Some of the worst hit states include Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Johore and Terengganu.

State fire and rescue departments have been stretched trying to contain around 300 blazes that have been breaking out each day throughout February.

“I’ve been in the fire department for the past 25 years. This is one of the worst I think,” said R Manogaran, a fire fighter.

The extreme weather that’s both hot and dry has also aggravated water woes in several parts of the country.

More than 80,000 homes in the Klang Valley are facing water cuts or low water pressure. The neighbouring state of Negri Sembilan has declared a state of emergency while the water level in Selangor, the most industrialised state, is said to be hovering just above the 40 per cent critical level.

Selangor Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim said: “It is still bearable, but I think we shouldn’t be causing hardship to our water customers. That’s the reason why we are doing the cloud seeding.”

Some areas haven’t received rain this year so authorities say they will attempt to artificially induce rain in water catchment areas across the Klang Valley.

Any open burning is strictly banned and residents in affected areas in the meantime are advised to stay indoors and well hydrated.

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