32 drowning cases recorded in S’wak this year

Khirudin (centre) speaking to reporters on the various assets which will be used during the landas season

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Nov 17: Sarawak recorded a total of 32 drowning cases this year.

In disclosing this, Fire and Rescue department (Bomba) Sarawak director PKPjB Khirudin Drahman said although the cases as at November this year are less as compared to previous 2019 (41), 2018 (52), 2017 (55) and 2016 (44), the numbers nevertheless are considered as worrying.

The 32 cases recorded involved drowning in rivers, beaches, lakes, mines and waterfalls.

At the same time, Bomba is also on extra high alert for possible floods in the Sarawak especially during the northeast monsoon season which brings heavy rain and thunderstorms from November this year to March next year.

“We in Bomba are leaving no stones unturned in our preparations for the coming monsoon season. We are very concern over water safety issue as well and this requires special attention. The department will continue to emphasise on water safety to the community,” he said in a press conference today.

All of the seven zones and 34 fire station heads in the state have been told to face the coming ‘landas’ season.

Khirudin disclosed areas which may be hit by flood as according to Malaysian Meteorological Department are Samarahan, Serian, Simunjan, Sebuyau and those along the coastal areas.

He advised everyone in the community including those residing in non flood prone areas to remain vigilant, always have safety mindset in mind and stay updated with the weather forecast.

Meanwhile all of the seven zones bomba chiefs and 34 fire station heads in the state are well-prepared to face the coming ‘landas’ season.

They have begun patrolling high risk areas, flood prone areas and simulation training have been carried out at each respective stations.

“Our equipment and assets such as rescue boats (45 units), 4WD (67 units), lorries (16 units), helicopter (1 unit), engines, personal floatation devices, ropes and other related tools are all set and ready.

“As for manpower in Sarawak, we have 1,194 full time officers and firefighters which have been mobilised and forward bases identified to face the floods at anytime not only for rescue operations but also surveillance. In addition, we have 230 auxiliary firefighters (PBB); 2,259 volunteer firefighters (PBS) from 53 teams; 7,453 Bomba community personnel, 10,107 personnel from Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and 820 personnel from Summer Camps whom are all ready to be deployed at any time,” Khirudin added.

He also appealed to the community and public at large to cooperate with Bomba and other relevant agencies during any emergency or difficult times to facilitate them carry out their duties more efficiently.

This he said, is particularly towards adherence of all Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the National Security Council (MKN) as the country is battling against Covid-19. — DayakDaily