(File pix) The state Fire and Rescue Department director Abdul Razak Muda said the column of water could strike at any time and in most cases, like yesterday's tragedy in Langkawi, the picnickers would be caught off guard when the strong currents strke. (BERNAMA)

ALOR STAR: Avoid visiting waterfalls during rainy spell.

The state Fire and Rescue Department director Abdul Razak Muda said it was easy to fall victim to the column of water phenomenon.

He said the column of water could strike at any time and in most cases, like yesterday's tragedy in Langkawi, the picnickers would be caught off guard when the strong currents strke.

He stressed that the public should not be misled that the clear and calm current s at waterfalls were safe because the strong currents could come on at any time.

"Even if there is no rain at the waterfall, the phenomenon can be triggered on the upper waterfall or river streams.

"If they see dark clouds or hear thunder, or spot the water level increasing, they should immediately leave the site," he said.

Abdul Razak said this year the department had rescued 15 column of water victims in separate incidents at waterfalls in Merbok, Yan and Langkawi.

"The public should also look out for other signs such any movement of rocks and boulders in the river, foamy waters and unusual number of tree branches or rubbish flowing down from the upper waterfall or river stream," he said.

"In the event of getting trapped in the situation, do not cross the river by yourself and wait until the rescuers arrive at the scene."

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