Justice For All Malaysia

Posted on: December 11, 2008

Development Of EWARNSTM Forecast
And Real-time Early Warning System
On Erosion Risks/Hazards
By Tew Kia Hui, Director, VT Soil Erosion Research & Consultancy,Dr. Faisal Hj. Ali, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya

With many incidences of landslides, mudslides and erosion occurrences lately, especially in highlands in
Malaysia, properties were damaged and lives were lost. Seeing the need of resolving and minimizing such
untoward incidences, a study has been embarked on developing a forecast and real-time early warning
system on erosion risks /hazards so as to provide an early warning to the public, whenever there are signs
and probable occurrence of such incidence. Consequently, a case study on Cameron Highlands Catchment
was carried out, which involved a detailed baseline database of the study area to be set up first. The highland
catchment, which is considered an environmentally sensitive area where many land development for various
activities such as agriculture, agro-tourism, property development and road-widening projects had already
been carried out and some are still on-going as to-date.
To develop the baseline database, acquisition of the latest Structure Plan, Satellite Imagery, topographical
and rainfall information of the catchment area were carried out. Once this is done, development of the
early warning system is carried out by adopting real-time rainfall information. This could be done using
solar-powered rain sensors, which would be triggered based on the rainfall amount and intensity. A SIMcard
based GPRS transmitter, which is attached to the “rain sensing and transmission unit” would then
send out e-mails at every minute interval, so that the data could be transferred to a receiving unit. At this
point, the e-mail is read and data is processed within the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) using an
automated keyboard simulation programme. The final processed values would then be set against the
threshold values, which will trigger an early warning if any of the values exceeds the threshold limits.
Similarly, for the early warning forecast on erosion risks/hazards it would be based on the baseline database
developed and it is to be confirmed by the weather forecast information as provided by the Malaysian
Meteorological Service (MMS). Therefore, it is hoped that the application of this new locally developed
system, which has been trademarked under the name EWARNSTM (Early Warning And Risk Navigation
Systems), would be beneficial to the local authorities, highway operators and public in general to provide
an early warning especially during periods of heavy rainfall, which could possibly trigger serious
occurrences of erosion/landslides /mudslides.

http://www.mbam.org.my/mbam/images/MBJ2Q05pdf/CsEWARNS(30-34).pdf

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