It's always best to err on the side of caution if you're visiting a waterfall during the rainy season
The obvious thing to do is to leave immediately once you see dark clouds before it even starts to rain. However, if you're swimming or picnicking by a stream further down, away from the waterfall, these dangerous currents can still occur even it's not raining in that area yet.
This is when it becomes especially dangerous because it's trickier to know if a sudden strong column of water is coming.
The good news is that there are several warning signs for you to catch when strong currents are about to happen.
Here's what you can look out for:
If you find yourself caught in a strong current, try not to panic and keep your head afloat as much as possible
According to rescue organisation, Chilliwack Search & Rescue, if you're swept away in a strong current, never put your feet down, as this could risk your foot or leg getting caught in debris or colliding into rocks, causing you to drown.
Instead, try to swim towards land or safety in a ferry angle, which is a 45° angle to the current. This would allow you to use the current to direct you to safety.
Experts also recommend swimming on your back with your feet pointed downstream, poking out of the water, and your head positioned upstream. This will protect your head from hitting any boulders and if you do hit something, your legs would likely take the impact instead.
If you've spotted a good place to exit, you could flip over and swim on your stomach diagonally towards it, in the same direction as the current.
Lastly, don't give up. Keep swimming until you reach a shallow pool or calmer waters.
If you're heading to a waterfall, please be safe!
Here are several in Klang Valley that you can visit if standard operating procedures allow:
Looking for other fun activities to do? Here are some ideas: