major floods have been experienced in Malaysia for the last few decades.
Flood occurrences seem to be getting more frequent in recent years,
especially in some cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuching where rapid
urbanisation is taking place. After several dramatic flooding events struck
the country with dramatic lives and property losses since the 1960s, the
government has taken several positive steps and seriously planning to
envisage flood mitigation projects in its national plans, translated
substantially by the establishment of the Natural Disaster Relief Committee
in 1972 and the Permanent Flood Control Commission in December 21, 1971
purposed for to study short-term measures to prevent the occurrence of
floods and long-term measures for flood mitigation. In this study, results
are presented to develop a digitally flood map for the 2007 flood inundation
areas along Sungai Pahang by gathering hydraulic and hydrologic data. This
will allow a proper evaluation on the impact of future flood events and
advise the implementing agencies as to what steps need to be undertaken to
provide further preventative measures to avoid the anticipated flood
problems that might occur.
Malaysia is fortunate in that historically it has not experienced natural
disasters in the form of earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons. The most
common natural disaster frequently encountered in Malaysia is flooding. Two
major types of floods occur in Malaysia, including monsoon floods and flash
floods. The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) in Malaysia has
estimated that about 29,000 sq. km, or 9%, of the total land area and more
than 4.82 million people (i.e. 22% of the population) are affected by
flooding annually. The damage caused by flooding is estimated to be about
RM915 million (Chan, 2005).
monsoon floods are governed by heavy and long durations of rainfall, more
localized flooding, which occurs especially in newly developed town areas,
has been reported more frequently in recent years. In October 2003 major
flooding affected a large area in the northwestern part of the Peninsular,
including the states of Kedah, Penang and Northern Perak. The December 2007
flood (Figure 1), on the other hand, occurred in the state of Pahang, after
more than 30 years (DID, 1974) since the last similar floods of 1971 (Figure
2, Tables 1 and 2). Flash floods have occurred more frequently in the
country since the 1980s, with these types of floods often having a drastic
impact on parts of the country.
common approaches adopted in reducing the impact of flood problems have been
increasingly adopted in Malaysia and these include structural and non
structural measures. Structural measures include such measures as river
widening, deepening and straightening, with the aim being to reduce the
magnitude of the flood, but at the same time this approach often transfers
the flooding problem further downstream. For non structural measures, tools
such as computer models can be used to quantify the effects of human
interference to the river system. Such tools are already available widely
used in many countries worldwide, but the application of sophisticated
models is still relatively new in Malaysia (Chang et. al 2008, Leow et al.
2009). One reason for this limited use of such models in Malaysia is that
the tools often do not properly model the more extreme flood events, where
the river flows are often supercritical. In Malaysia it is regarded as
increasingly important to carry out a thorough analysis of flood events with
the help of available river models to understand the flood behaviour before
any structural measures are undertaken. Therefore, before any amendments are
implemented within a catchment and the flood plain, river engineers must
evaluate the potential extent and impact of flood events and advise the
implementing agencies as to what steps need to be undertaken to provide
further preventative measures to avoid the anticipated flood problems that
might occur (Ab. Ghani et al. 2009).
present research will provide the required data on flood inundation of 2007
Sungai Pahang flood for future computer modelling purposes.
1: December 2007 flood at Pekan, Pahang
Figure 2: January 1971 flood profile (DID, 1974)
Table 1: Water Surface Slope in January 1971 flood (DID, 1974)
Table 2: Flood Slope in January 1971 flood (DID, 1974)
Objectives of the Research:
a) To gather hydraulic and hydrologic data of the 2007 flood
b) To digitally map the 2007 flood inundation areas along Sungai
c) To estimate damage cost due to 2007 flood
Sungai Pahang is the
longest river in the Peninsular Malaysia at 435 km, the river drains about
three quarters of the land area in the state of Pahang (Figure 3). Sungai
Pahang actually begins from Kuala Tembeling at the confluence of two equally
large and long rivers, the Jelai which drains from the eastern slopes of the
Banjaran Titiwangsa, the main range of Peninsular Malaysia, and the
Tembeling which has its headwaters in the Terengganu Highlands in the east.
Other main tributaries of Sungai Pahang are the Semantan, Teriang, Bera and
Four major towns are
located on or near Sungai Pahang and its tributaries: Pekan, the royal town
at its mouth; Temerloh midway on the river at its confluence with Semantan;
Jerantut, the gateway to Taman Negara on the Tembeling; and Kuala Lipis at
the mouth of the river bearing the same name on the Jelai.
Figure 3a: Pahang River Basin (DID, 1974)
Figure 3b: Satellite Image coverage on the Study Area
On-Site Ground Survey and Validation using Professional Data Mapper for GPS
Data Collection and Mapping
Figure 5: DEM Development
Comparison of Flood Inundation Area of Model with Actual Condition
Proposed Flood Mitigation Alternatives for Sungai Pahang
Ab. Ghani, A., Chang, C.K., Leow, C.S., & Zakaria,
N.A. (2012). Sungai Pahang Digital Flood Mapping: 2007 Flood,
International Journal of River Basin Management, pp. 1-10, DOI:
Azamathulla, H.Md., Ab. Ghani, A., Leow, C.S., Chang, C.K. & Zakaria,
Gene-Expression Programming for the Development of a Stage-Discharge
Curve of the Pahang River, Journal of Water Resource Management, DOI:
Ab. Ghani, A., Zakaria, N.A. & Falconer, R.A. (2009).
Editorial, River Modelling and Flood
Mitigation: Malaysian Perspectives, Water
Management Journal, Vol. 162, No.1, pp. 1-2, ISSN 1741-7589.
N.W. (2005). Sustainable Management of Rivers in Malaysia: Involving All
Stakeholders, International Journal of River Basin Management,
Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 147-162, ISSN: 1571-5124.
C.K., Ab. Ghani, A., Abdullah, R. & Zakaria, N.A.(2008). Sediment
Transport Modeling for Kulim River: A Case Study. Journal of
Hydro-Environment Research, IAHR, Vol. 2, No.1, pp. 47-59,
Department of Irrigation and
Drainage or DID (1974). Pahang River Basin Study, Vol. 3: Basin
Hydrology and River Behaviour.
C.S., Abdullah, R., Zakaria, N.A., Ab. Ghani, A. & Chang, C.K. (2009).
Modelling Urban River Catchment: A Case Study in Malaysia.
Water Management Journal, Institution of Civil Engineers
(ICE), UK, Vol. 162, No.1, pp. 25-34.