Dos and Don’ts during wet weather

Rokiah Mahmud

Following the heavy rainfall and floods the country is experiencing, the Ministry of Health (MoH) urged the public, particularly those living in flood-prone areas, to take precautionary measures to prevent accidents, injuries and the probability of food and waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, food poisoning and vector borne disease such as dengue.

Precautionary measures include ensuring a clean water supply; drinking boiled water or bottled water; cooking food thoroughly and prioritising personal hygiene, especially washing hands with clean water and soap after using the toilet.

The public must keep residential surroundings and nearby areas clean, not to dispose waste and ensure drainages are not blocked by rubbish, mud and tree trunks.

The public is advised to seek medical treatment if experiencing fever, stomach ache, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

The public must prioritise safety, especially young children, from exposure to flood waters to avoid drowning, injuries and infection. The public was also told not to touch electrical wires found fallen near flooded areas.

Persons with cuts or skin diseases or chronic health problems, especially diabetes, are advised to avoid flood waters as it can cause infection. Patients with chronic illness must ensure they have an adequate supply of medication. If facing a shortage, patients can contact the nearest health clinic. The public should also destroy mosquito breeding places.

The public is also reminded to maintain personal hygiene and carry out their social responsibilities as the country is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic. For information, the public can visit the ministry’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or Darussalam line 123.

Meanwhile, the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department said the country is experiencing the Northeast Monsoon where generally unsettled weather conditions are expected, with occasional heavy showers or thundershowers.

Brunei Darussalam has been experiencing rainfall daily and the Meteorological Observation Station at the Brunei International Airport recorded 277.1 millimetres of rainfall. According to long term records, the average monthly rainfall total for January is 308 millimetres.

The increase of rainfall in Brunei Darussalam is due to a combination of the low pressure system in the northern part of Borneo and the a strong North-Easterly wind surge over the region.

The heavy rainfall on Tuesday over the Brunei-Muara District, Tutong District and coastal areas of the Belait District caused flash floods, particularly over low-lying and flood-prone areas. The high tide during the heavy showers also caused floods near river banks.

Based on the latest Numerical Weather Prediction Model, an unsettled weather condition with occasional heavy showers is expected to continue in Brunei Darussalam until January 19.

Showers or thundershowers are expected especially in the afternoon and evening, and may continue to early morning. The department also alerted of flash floods.

Wind conditions may intensify reaching up to 45km/h during heavy showers. The strong North-Easterly wind surges over the South China Sea will result in the increase of wave height over Brunei waters. The sea condition is expected to be generally at moderate to rough state with wave height reaching up to three metres until next week.

The department also warned of flash floods especially at low lying and flood prone areas during heavy showers or thundershowers as well as the risk of falling trees during gusty conditions. There is also a risk of severe flooding during very heavy rain coinciding with high tide.

Rough sea state is dangerous to small crafts, and sea recreational activities and sports.

The public is advised to stay up-to-date with the latest weather forecast, advisory and warning before planning activities and to take precautions. Contact the Weather Line at 114, visit www.met.gov.bn or check the Brunei WX mobile app for weather updates.