Sarawak beefing up preparations to face northeast monsoon
KUCHING, Sept 21 (Bernama) -- Sarawak through its Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has put in place meticulous preparations to face the northeast monsoon season predicted to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms between December to January next year.
In a statement today, SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the Sarawak Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) would have 1,590 personnel for duties during the period and supported by 9,187 members of Community Firefighting teams and 8,624 members of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
He said the department had also identified 310 flood hotspots throughout the state, 73 of which were in Sibu Division, 52 in Sri Aman, 42 in Kuching, 40 each in Samarahan and Miri, 32 in Bintulu and 31 in Limbang.
“The department had also identified 97 locations where road links are most susceptible to be cut off, 42 of which are in Sibu. There are also 77 landslide-prone locations, with Sibu again having the lion share at 32,” he said.
In terms of logistics, he said Sarawak JBPM had prepared 48 boats, 16 lorries, 87 four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles and a helicopter, while the police would have 1,663 personnel, along with 52 lorries, 109 4WD vehicles, 119 cars, 35 vans, an ambulance and a bus.
Uggah who is also the Sarawak Deputy Premier said for their rivers and sea operations, Sarawak JBPM had prepared 647 various assets such as jet skis, boats and life jackets.
He said the Sarawak Coastguard formed last year would also be mobilising six interceptors boats, six longboats and 100 personnel in preparation for any disaster during the period while 280 telemetry stations, comprising 151 stations for rainfall monitoring, 23 for water level and 106 rainfall and water level stations are already in operation throughout the state to monitor the weather situation.
“The police has to date identified 631 evacuation centres capable of accommodating 188,360 evacuees in schools and community centres, while the Welfare Department had stocked up their depots for food and other necessities with 1,971 officers and volunteers to be on hand at these centres,” he said.
Uggah said a three-day course would be held in Sibu next month to better prepare those involved in the rescue operations during the monsoon period.
Uggah also extended his appreciation to Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor who, through the Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim Johor, donated 6,400 tents to SDMC to be used at the evacuation centres.