Rainy days expected as northeast monsoon looms large
By:News Desk
Bad weather rains Sarawak filler

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has put in place various preparations to face the coming northeast monsoon that is set to bring heavy showers and thunderstorms.

Yesterday, SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said rainy days were expected from December this year to January next year.

He mentioned that SDMC had fruitful meetings, including with all divisional level administrations as well as other key departments and authorities, to plan preparations.

The Deputy Premier added that the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) had identified 310 flood hotspots, including 73 in Sibu Division, 52 in Sri Aman, 42 in Kuching, 32 in Bintulu, 31 in Limbang, and 40 each in Samarahan and Miri.

“Bomba also identified 97 areas where road links are most vulnerable to be cut off, with 42 of them located in Sibu.

“There are also 77 landslide-prone areas, with Sibu holding the lion’s share at 32.”

Uggah revealed that Bomba was enlisting 1,590 officers and other personnel for duties during the period, as well as 9,187 members from 921 Bomba Komuniti teams, 8,624 members from the 40 Community Emergency Response Team programme, and others to supplement them.

“In terms of logistics, Bomba is preparing 48 boats, 16 lorries, 87 four-wheel-drive vehicles, and a helicopter, while approximately 1,663 officers and personnel from the police, marine, air wing, and divisional district police stations will be involved, along with 52 lorries, 109 four-wheel-drives, 119 motorcars, 35 vans, an ambulance, and a bus.

“They have prepared 647 different assets, such as jet skis, boats, and life jackets, for their river and sea operations.”

To date, the police department has identified 631 evacuation centres capable of housing 188,360 evacuees in schools and community centres, while the Welfare Department has prepared stock depots for food and other essentials, as well as food caterers.

Around 1,971 officers and volunteers would be on standby to assist at the evacuation centres, Uggah said, adding that the state’s newly formed Sarawak Coastguard would also be involved with six interceptors, six longboats, and 100 personnel.

He also mentioned that the state had 245 rainfall, 280 telemetry, and 114 water level stations.

Meanwhile, Uggah said a three-day course would be held in Sibu next month to properly equip personnel involved in rescue efforts.

In a related development, he thanked Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar for donating 6,400 tents to SDMC, which is a programme under Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim Johor.

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