Minister: Met dept to simplify weather warning alerts

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KUALA LUMPUR: The meteorological department will simplify the weather warning alerts by using words instead of colours in order for the public to understand the warning, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau today admitted that the current colour-coded warning system was difficult to understand.

“Malaysians find it hard to comprehend the colour-coded warning system, comprising the colours of yellow, orange and red.

“The met department will change the current system to a written one, by denoting yellow as beware (waspada), orange as bad (buruk) and red as dangerous (bahaya),” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong).

Noraini had asked on the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the ministry to ensure the weather forecast and early alerts are disseminated to the public earlier.

At present, the department sends out weather alerts in three classifications of yellow, orange and red.

Yellow is for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the population.

An orange alert means that those in the affected areas should prepare for anticipated bad weather conditions.

Red, on the other hand, means there will be severe weather, and people are asked to move out of the danger zone.

Penang was recently hit by unprecedented and devastating floods, following a downpour which lasted for 15 hours from Nov 4 to 5.

There were criticisms then levelled against the department for not issuing the warning alert earlier.