Don't hike or visit waterfalls during monsoon season, thrill-seekers told

KUANTAN: Outdoor enthusiasts have been advised to postpone their hiking and picnic activities at recreational areas following the current spell of bad weather resulting from the monsoon season.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Dr Wan Mohammad Zaidi Wan Isa said a trip to the waterfall during the rainy spell could expose people to dangers including getting lost in the jungle, hit by a water column ('kepala air' phenomenon) or trapped by fast-rising river water.

"Planning hiking and camping outings during the rainy season will only expose the participants to various risks. We hope parents will remind their children to avoid such activities during the school holidays.

"Trips to waterfalls should be avoided as it is difficult to predict the weather at the site. Although the weather in one section might be fine, heavy rain upstream could pose a threat to picnickers," he told reporters at the Kuantan fire station here after inspecting flood preparations.

Wan Mohammad Zaidi said the public can check with the Fire and Rescue Department, police as well as the Forestry Department before planning any outdoor trips as some recreational areas have already been closed between November and early next year due to the monsoon season.

He said adventure seekers are advised to stop all hiking and trekking activities between November this year and February next year due to the risk posed by the monsoon season.

"Due to continuous rain, the tracks will be slippery and participants might get injured or sometimes get lost in the jungle. Since they can avoid such a situation, it's best to plan the outings once the monsoon season has ended," he said.

Meanwhile, a Forestry Department officer said eco forest parks and hiking spots in forest reserves under the supervision of the Pahang Forestry Department will be temporarily closed throughout the monsoon season.

"The eco-forest parks, state parks and hiking spots managed by the department have been closed between Nov 1 till further announcement. However, the privately-owned eco-tourism spots remain in operation," she said.

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