Trying to drive through floods can backfire – Expert

KUALA LUMPUR – The over-confidence of drivers who take the risk of ploughing through a flood in order to continue their journey can result in them being stranded in the middle of an inundation.

According to Bentong, Pahang GiatMara Skills Training Centre manager, Mohd Aizat Abd Aziz, any motor vehicle is at risk of damage if flooded, especially present vehicles which use the electronic fuel injection system.

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“The cost of repairing damage to flooded car can reach thousands of ringgit, especially current vehicles that already use ‘electronic fuel injection’ because it has many ‘sensors’ and is more sensitive.

“If you insist on through flood water, make sure the water does not exceed the level of the air intake suction, namely, it does not pass the hood or bonnet for cars, and for motorcycles, (water) does not exceed the level of the rider’s seat,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

However, Mohd Aizat, who had 10 years of experience as an instructor in the automotive field at the training centre, warned drivers not to take the risk of driving during floods.

Mohd Aizat said the centre, which also conducted community vehicle repair services, received two to three vehicles a day during the flood season.

“The common damage is water entering the carburetor for vehicles that are still using the carburetor.

“We also receive many cars which broke down due to short circuits, namely, the failure of the electronic system after they were driven in a flood,” he added.

He also shared vehicle care tips during the flood season such as parking vehicles in safe places such as high places or areas that are not easily flooded.

“Drive the vehicle slowly because driving fast can cause the tires to lose grip. Also, use low gear and maintain the driving momentum.

“Also check the engine or ‘gearbox’ by checking the car’s dipstick. If it exceeds the appropriate amount it means water has entered the engine, ”he advised.

Adhere to SOP

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob meanwhile has reminded all flood victims ordered to evacuate to a relief centre, that they need to be screened and adhere to the physical distancing rule.

He said the directive was part of the flood management standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the government to break the COVID-19 chain during the flood season.

He said the relief centres must also be disinfected before receiving flood victims while the evacuation process should comply with the relief centre management guidelines and follow the advice of the Health Ministry.

“The flood victims will also be supplied with face masks and to wear it at all times while the relief centre committee should place family members in the same cubicle.

“Food victims with symptoms will be referred to the health clinic and then placed separately at a special section provided,” he said at a news conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) developments, here, today.

On food and beverage preparations at the relief centres, Ismail Sabri said only packed food would be served to the flood victims and no cooking allowed at the relief centres while in operation.

“Also, group activities that affect physical distancing including visiting flood victims at the relief centres are not allowed.

“All enclosed spaces at the relief centres are allowed to open to enable sufficient air circulation so as to remove contaminated particles,” he said, adding that details of the flood SOP were available on the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and National Security Council (MKN) websites.

He also urged all flood victims to follow the SOP and guidelines set to curb the spread of COVID-19 during this wet season.