Do not use floodwater submerged appliances

PUTRAJAYA – The public is advised not to use electrical appliances which have been submerged in floodwaters, besides ensuring such appliances are inspected and dried before using them, the Energy Commission (ST) said today.

“Before switching on the main switch, check all wiring and electrical appliances in the house. The inspection must be carried out by certified electrical contractors or registered with ST,” it said in a statement.

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ST said knowledge of electrical hazard during floods was important to ensure public safety and avoid accidents caused by electricity.

“For example, fallen electrical poles or broken cables including underground ones can cause electrocution to members of the public,” it said.

The commission added that, if possible, before being asked to evacuate their homes, residents should switch off the main distribution board and disconnect all electrical appliances from the power sockets.

Residents are also advised to keep all electrical appliances at higher spots and safe from floodwaters.

“Immediately report to Tenaga Nasional Berhad if the floodwaters begin to rise for monitoring or cutting off of power supply to avoid danger,” ST said.

In flooded areas, the public is urged to avoid places with electrical cables, especially at night or locations with fallen electrical cables to avoid electrocution.

“Don’t go near or hold any electric pole or stay wire during flood or rain as there may be electricity leakage,” it said.

Substations shut down

A total of 302 substations in Pahang meanwhile have been shut down due to floods which hit the state since Sunday, said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Of the total, only 196 have reopened and resumed operations.

The district with the highest number of substations remained shut down is Temerloh with 65 substations, and some other districts located along the overflowing Sungai Pahang.

“We have sent gensets (generator sets) to provide power supply with priorities given to temporary relief centres with a large number of flood evacuees and the rural areas.

“The process of reopening the substations can be done immediately but we have to wait for the water to recede first as a safety measure,” he told reporters after observing the North Kuantan Main Intake Substation at Kampung Tiram here, today.

Mahdzir said several TNB assets including employers’ quarters were also inundated but the damage could only be assessed after the situation gets better as the main priority was to restore the power supply.

However, he said the damage would not be as bad as previous major floods because several improvement measures have been implemented in the east coast states based on the 2014 flood experience, such as building flood barriers and elevating the substation base.

“We are seeking cooperation from the public not to spread fake news on TNB such as accusing us of cutting down the power supply or releasing the dam water because this will only trigger panic among the people.

“I hope they can verify the information they read on social media by referring to TNB’s official statements because we will inform the public prior to taking any action,” he said.

Controlled water release

The release of water from three dams in Perak which serve as the Sungai Perak power station operated by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) today was carried out due to the rising water following continuous rain in the catchment areas.

TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Nor Azman Mufti said the dams involved were the Bersia and Kenering Dams in Gerik as well as Chenderoh Dam in Kuala Kangsar.

He said the release was carried out in a controlled manner, based on the standard operating procedures (SOP) set to ensure the safe water level of the dams could be maintained.

“TNB is working closely with local authorities and related agencies to ensure the controlled water release process is carried out based on the SOP for the sake of public safety,” he said in a statement here today.

Meanwhile, Nor Azman said there was overflow of water from the Kenyir Dam, Terengganu into Sungai Terengganu, but it was still below the river capacity level.

He added that the water level at the Pergau Dam, Kelantan and the Temenggor Dam in Gerik, was below the water release point.

Nor Azman said apart from generating electricity, other important functions of TNB’s hydroelectric dams was to control the flow of water during continuous heavy rainfall.

“TNB assures that all the dams are in good condition and safe,” he said adding that prior to the release, the utility company had conducted a series of briefings and training at its hydroelectric stations as well as operations office to increase operational efficiency and readiness.