Malaysia, consists of the Peninsular, commonly known as East Malaysia, and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern edges of the island of Borneo, commonly known as West Malaysia. According to statistics, the most common natural disaster in Malaysia is flood [1].

An aerial view of a settlement submerged by floodwaters in the Pengkalan Chepa district of Kelantan, Malaysia, Dec. 28, 2014.

Most floods occurs in the east coastal area of Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang etc.) and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).

Natural causes of flooding

One of the natural causes of flooding is the yearly northeast monsoon (November to March) with an annual rainfall of 2800mm [2]. With heavy rainfall during the monsoon period, low-lying region may face the issue of flooding, especially regions around the coastal area. According to Høybye (2009), other factor that causes flooding are: extreme increase in river discharge, sea wave from South China Sea [3].

Read more about the climate change in Malaysia.

Flood prone areas of Peninsular Malaysia

Man-made causes of flooding

  • Rapid urbanization
  • Poor management of drainage system
  • Deforestation
  • Inadequate river capacity 
  • Settlement on floodplains
  • Accumulation of sand along rivers and/or at water mouth due to agricultural or construction

*refer to [4] & [5]

Consequences of flooding

Facts and Figures of Kelantan Flood 2014

The numbers speaks everything. Flooding causes a huge loss on the Malaysia economy. Palm oil and rubber production decline sharply, infrastructure were destroyed, lost of income for the affected victim etc. Also, people killed due to flooding.

Interesting publications on solving flooding in Malaysia

Learning points

From all these research, I can conclude that these are some of the key points we can look into for our project:

  1. Supplying of food. How might we able to provide adequate amount of the food for the victims to sustain during flooding [6]
  2. Involvement in post-disaster relief. How might MESSA able to assist in rebuilding the community after the disaster [7]
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