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3/15/14

MH370: MET department to continue assisting rescue teams

MH370: MET department to continue assisting rescue teams
TAWAU: The Meteorological Department will continue to provide information on the current weather condition to search and rescue (SAR) teams involved in locating Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which went missing last Saturday.

Its director-general, Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said it was part of the department's responsibilities to provide information on weather forecast such as wind and sea conditions to the SAR teams.

"It is also one of the government's efforts, through the Meteorological Department, to help the teams each time they need to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP)," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the launch of a public awareness programme on earthquake, tsunami and extreme weather, as well as the 1MET line here on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, who was present at the event, said the programme was aimed at providing awareness to the people, especially in this district, on natural disasters and the emergency response action in time of such incidents.

In this regard, he said the department was proposing to extend the Malaysian National Tsunami Early Warning System (MNTEWS) to Sabah this year.

Ewin said the extension involved connecting the seismic station network to Kota Belud and Ranau with tsunami sirens located at Semporna, Ranau and Tambunan.

"The seismic system network needed to be extended to this state to improve earthquake and tsunami detection capability as there were 37 incidents of earthquakes recorded last year, in which five were felt by local residents," he noted.

The MNTEWS was set up in 2005 to provide effective early tsunami warning to alert residents living near coastal areas.

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