Sarawak ready to face north-east monsoon, says deputy premier

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Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Sept 21 — Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today said that the state is well prepared to face the coming north-east monsoon season predicted to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms that would lead to major floods, especially in low-lying areas.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman said that heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected from December this year to January next year.

“We have had fruitful discussions to plan for our preparations with all divisional level administrations, all relevant departments and bodies state-wide,” he said after chairing a meeting via Zoom.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department has identified 310 flood hotspot locations.

“They are 73 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 has also identified 97 locations where road links are most susceptible to be cut off and with 42 identified in Sibu.

“There are also 77 landslides prone locations,” he said, adding that the department will be enlisting some 1,590 officers and men to be on duty during that period.

Uggah said 9,187 members from 921 Bomba Komuniti teams, 8,624 members under the 40 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programme and other agencies will also give their support.

He said the Fire and Rescue department is putting in place 48 boats, 16 lorries, 87 four-wheel vehicles and a helicopter to be on standby while the police including the general operation force, marine and air wing will have some 1,663 officers and men to be deployed to help flood victims.

“For their river and sea operations, they have prepared 647 various assets such as jet skis, boats and life jackets,” he said.

Uggah said SDMC has so far identified 631 evacuation centres, including schools and community halls that are capable of accommodating 188,360 persons.

“The Welfare Department, on the other hand, had readied its stock depots for food and other necessities and food caterers.

“Some 1,971 officers and volunteers will be on hand to help at these evacuation centres,” he said, adding that the state’s newly formed Sarawak Coast Guards will deploy six interceptors, six longboats and 100 personnel.