Asia and Oceania, Dam Safety

Dam release causes flooding in Malaysia

At least three people are dead and one is missing after flood waters were released from Malaysia’s Sultan Abu Bakar Dam.

Operator Tenaga Nasional said the water was released “as a measure to avoid flooding the entire Bertam Valley”, following heavy rains and flash flooding that “caused an overflow into Lake Ringlet that surpassed maximum levels”.

Local sources report that one of the dam’s four gates was opened to help lower the lake’s levels, and that if it hadn’t been opened, all four might have opened automatically — potentially causing even more damage.

“The water discharge process is in accordance with established operating procedures,” a Tenaga Nasional release said.

Bertam Valley is a popular tourist destination located in the Cameron Highlands region. Reports said the flooding also damaged dozens of houses and cars.

The Sultan Abu Bakar complex also includes a hydroelectric plant of unspecified capacity.

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