Bracing for floods

Uggah (seated centre), Fatimah (seated left) and Jaul (seated right) together with representatives from the seven departments and agencies during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia yesterday. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: A total of 21,188 officers and personnel from seven departments and agencies are on standby to face the onslaught of the northeast monsoon, said State Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

According to the Meteorological Department, the prevailing northeast monsoon which is expected to last until March next year would cause floods in low-lying and flood-prone areas.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, added this is part of the committee’s readiness to provide all the necessary support to ensure smooth operation in an emergency.

“And if heavy rain falls simultaneously with the high-tide phenomenon, the flood risk will be worse,” he said at a press conference after chairing the State Disaster Management Committee meeting at the State Operations Room in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

Also present were Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and Deputy State Secretary Datuk Jaul Samion.

Uggah pointed out that officers and personnel who will be deployed are from the Malaysian Armed Forces (7,192), Civil Defence Force (5,000), Fire and Rescue Department (3,281), Royal Malaysia Police (2,469), People’s Volunteer Corps (1,089), Social Welfare Department (1,087) and Health Department (1,070).

He added that there is an increase of 4,091 officers and personnel this year from the 17,097 last year.

In terms of assets, the committee has allocated five helicopters, 205 lorries, 472 four-wheel drive vehicles, 290 boats and 117 ambulances from the various departments and agencies which are also on standby.

The Social Welfare Department had made preparations to open 610 relief centres across the state and 165 logistics suppliers had been appointed to provide the best response when needed.

Uggah also said a total of 12 forward bases at strategic places and three main stores or depots have been set up in Kuching, Samarahan and Miri.

He pointed out that all Residents have been instructed to activate flood operations rooms in their areas, and that the leave of officers and personnel under the committee shall be frozen with immediate effect.


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