Haze free but flood risk this year, says Wan Junaidi


SUBANG: Residents in low-lying areas need to be prepared following unpredictable heavy rain which may bring about floods this year due to the La Nina phenomenon.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said based on the recent reports of the meteorological department (MetMalaysia), rain distribution this year showed an unpredictable pattern with unusually heavy downpour.

“It is raining every day… the situation is worrying , and it is feared the heavy rain could cause floods. As we are aware the El Nino effect is not strong this year, and the La Nina is taking place instead,” he told reporters after launching the second stage of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP) here yesterday.

The MetMalaysia Report showed the El Nino phenomenon which brought extremely hot weather would not occur this year and following that, Malaysia is expected to be free of cross border haze this year.

MetMalaysia also reported that there would not be abnormally hot weather as experienced in 2014 and 2015 which brought about haze.

Meanwhile, Malaysia is targeting to reduce the usage of HCFCs by 35% by 2020 in an effort to restore the ozone layer, compared with 10% in 2015.

Wan Junaidi said the second stage of HPMP would focus on technological change by using non-HCFC alternatives in the foam manufacturing sector and banning the consumption of HCFC in fire extinguisher manufacturing.

According to him, the ban on HCFC would give industries in Malaysia the opportunity to improve energy efficiency and expand the development of the green economy.

The plan is implemented by the environment department under the natural resources and environment ministry with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Programme.

HCFC is an ozone destroying substance controlled under the Montreal Protocol on materials which thins the ozone layer.

The substance is mainly used as refrigerants and in the manufacturing of foam and solvents.