At the end of 2014, the worst monsoon rains to hit the East Coast in three decades triggered major flooding, resulting in 21 deaths and 250,000 people displaced from their homes. The total economic loss and financial burden on the Government were enormous; recovery efforts alone cost RM1 billion ($280 million) just for recovery efforts.
Unfortunately, the effects of flooding go beyond direct flood damage. They have a serious effect on agriculture and infrastructure, disrupting a wide range of economic activities. Within agriculture, prolonged periods of flooding result in decreased crop productivity. Landowners and farmers lose income from farming activities immediately after the flood, and potentially for the following 12 months.
For Infrastructure, recent flood events paralysed industrial activities in Malaysia, causing serious damage to assets such as factory building and premises.
EASOS will assist the Malaysian authorities with improving the overall awareness of flood risks across the country. It will be used to generate alerts that will enable response teams to activate evacuation plans, where necessary, and consider short-term flood defences. The results will include improved advanced warning times, increased time to develop targeted responses, better information about impacted areas, and prediction of improving or deteriorating conditions. Ultimately, reductions in the numbers of fatalities and damage to personal property, businesses and infrastructure will be achieved.
From an economic and environmental perspective, we estimate EASOS will enable:
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