Massive flooding in M'sia: Blame it on the moon too

Don't just blame it on heavy rainfall.

The moon may have something to do with the massive flooding across Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast states, newspaper The Star reported

According to the Malaysia Meteorological Department (MMD), the gravitational pull of the moon can lead to higher-than-normal high tides.

And this is more so when the moon is at its closest to the earth, a position also known as perigee.


 A man makes his way to his house submerged in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu, on Dec 27. PHOTO: AFP


The moon was at perigee at 12.44am on Christmas Day, appearing as a super moon that seems larger than usual. The gravitational pull of the moon can generate extreme high tides at this position.

Met spokesman Dr Mohd Hisham Anip said: “The high tide is coming and it is higher than usual.”

Extremely heavy or prolonged rain that coincides with higher than usual tides is usually a recipe for flooding.


Children play in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu, on Dec 27. Rescue teams struggled on Dec 27 to reach inundated areas of northeast Malaysia as victims accused the government of being slow to provide assistance after the country's worst flooding in decades. PHOTO: AFP


MMD said further episodes of continuous monsoon rain are expected to come again on Monda, which would probably affect Pahang, Johor and Sarawak.

The not-so-good news is that the rainy season is expected to end only by the middle or end of February.


Flood victims who abandoned their homes to seek shelter gather at a school used as an evacuation centre in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu. PHOTO: AFP


Dr Mohd Hisham also revealed that in a “normal” month, rainfall averages between 500mm to 600mm in a month for the east coast.

“But areas such as Kuala Krai in Kelantan, Kuantan in Pahang and Gong Badak in Terengganu received more than 1,000mm of rainfall this month."

Source: The Star/ Bernama, AFP