Malaysia braced for heatwave until September, no emergency declared yet

Photo Courtesy Channel News Asia

Despite the sweltering weather in Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that the government has no immediate plans to declare the heatwave an emergency. However, he added that the government is prepared to do so if necessary. This decision was made after a National Disaster Management Committee meeting, which Ahmad Zahid chaired.

For now, we don’t think there is a need for an emergency to be declared. But if need be, we will issue Directive 20 of the National Security Council for an emergency to be called,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying by The Star.

Directive 20 provides guidelines on managing disasters in Malaysia and covers prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery should such an event occur. Current weather conditions are expected to last until September, with temperatures potentially reaching above 40 degrees Celsius in August, reported Channel News Asia.

Yesterday, eight districts in Malaysia were issued with “Level 1” heatwave warnings, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department. This means that the daily maximum temperature in the districts was between 35 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days.

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Ahmad Zahid, who is also the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, said that cloud seeding operations will be done at catchment areas for seven dams across the country where the water level has receded.

The Armed Forces and MetMalaysia will work together to execute the exercise. This will be done soon so that the people whose water sources come from these dams will not have to suffer from water shortages,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

Ahmad Zahid also stated that the National Water Service Commission had been tasked to work with water operators and local authorities on the best way to distribute the domestic use of water should there be a shortage.

In response to the prolonged hot weather, schools in Malaysia have temporarily suspended all outdoor activities, including co-curricular and sports activities, following an announcement by Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying. No schools have been closed so far. School administrators are to take precautionary measures and monitor the daily weather conditions.

According to Malay Mail, Lim said…

“According to our guidelines, as long as the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius (over three consecutive days), the state education departments will monitor and close the schools,”

The education ministry has also allowed students and teachers to wear modest athletic clothing to school.

Taking into account the circumstances, the Education Ministry agrees to give special permission to students, teachers, and other support staff to use modest athletic clothing during the hot weather,” said the ministry’s deputy director-general of school operations, Dr. Norisah Suhaili, in a letter dated May 2.

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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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