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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Before We Blame God....

It is quite usual for people to blame God for mishaps and the recent floods in Johor have already been attributed to unusual weather with heavy rain that has not been seen for the last 100 odd years.

Already the government has engaged a consultant to come up with reasons why the floods have been so severe.

We have a weather bureau so why do we need another consultant to state the obvious?

Mankind has been the most destructive of nature's animals, yeah some of us are real beasts and we have changed the whole scheme of things so that many species have already become extinct.

A few weeks ago it was reported that a massive ice island has broken off the Alaska coast signalling further the irreversible change of global warming. Earth of course is subject to the forces in the cosmos and we are just one speck in the universe so we cannot really be sure if man will really destroy planet earth or we will be wiped out by a blast from outer space.

But coming back to the floods - before we point a finger upwards to blame God we should examine the following:

• Was there illegal logging around the affected areas?

• Were the river beds properly maintained to remove silting so that capacity is not reduced?

• Was housing development built according to approved plans with adequate green areas?

• Were the drainage systems properly maintained?

• Were the river capacities adequate to channel water flows as more areas were developed?

• Is there a master plan for drainage management for the areas affected by the floods?

It is interesting to note that Singapore with also a flat terrain only had flooding in a few places and the flood subsided after hours although they too had to release water from MacRitchie Reservoir.

Perhaps the main reason why flooding was not so severe there is they made the strategic decision to collect the maximum rainwater for their reservoirs and to do this all public drians have been properly maintained.

To check how we compare just go out your home and do a survey of the main drain outside your home. Our modus operandi for drain cleaning is that the cleaner scoops up the rubbish and it is just left there until the next downpour washes it down again.

In a way we should be glad the rain has only affected Johor. If the Klang Valley had that kind of continuous rain the death toll would have been catastrophic as we can see that the authorities have really little clue on how to manage disasters.

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