Sarawak raises preparedness for northeast monsoon

KUCHING: Taking a lesson from the massive floods which hit several states in the peninsula last month, Sarawak is raising its level of preparedness as the meteorological department forecast continuous rain starting from tomorrow from northeast monsoon winds in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.

Sarawak State Security Council assistant secretary, Rosidah Mokhtar said an evacuation centre opened in SMK Merapok in Lawas (about 1,058km from Kuching) on Saturday night to house 58 people from 18 families in three villages had been closed at 5.30pm Sunday when flood water subsided.

She said the council would update the National Security Council (MKN) four times daily to provide the latest status in MKN’s portal www.portalbencana.mkn.gov.my to inform the people.

The Sarawak Civil Defence Department when contacted yesterday morning said more than 900 personnel were ready to be mobilised throughout Sarawak to assist flood victims.

Its public relations officer Siti Huzaimah Ibrahim said in terms of assets, the department had eight lorries, 24 units of four-wheel-drives, 27 boats of various sizes, 26 units of boat engines and 18 units of ambulances.

The state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) has also been closely monitoring the supply of essential goods by setting up an operations room to collate data on such items.

Sarawak KPDNKK deputy director, Abd Hafidz A Rahim told Bernama that the office had also compiled information on the stocks of daily necessities and food in the state in preparation for the floods. Meanwhile Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang who was tasked with heading State Disaster Management Committee has assured the people that its 3,417 personnel from various departments and agencies were ready to be mobilised to disaster and flood areas.

He advised the people to obtain the official information on the floods by surfing various government portals such as www.portalbencana.mkn.gov.my, www.ihydro.did.sarawak.gov.my and www.met.gov.my .

According to him, the state government has put 239 lorries, 178 four-wheel-drives, three helicopters, a Royal Malaysian Air Force plane and three jet skis on standby.

The meteorological department in a statement two days ago said Kuching division was expected to receive 900mm of rain while other divisions in Sarawak would receive between 400mm to 500mm of rain this month. — Bernama

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