Bracing for monsoon season: Over 12,000 personnel on standby, flood prone areas identified

Douglas Uggah Embas (file photo).

KUCHING, Sept 21: Sarawak through its Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has put in place meticulous preparations to face the coming northeast monsoon season predicted to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today Sarawak is expected to be hit by the rainy season from December this year to January.

“We had a fruitful discussions to plan for our preparations with all the divisional level administrations, all relevant departments and bodies state-wide,” he said after chairing an online meeting with the aforementioned participants.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) had identified 310 flood hotspot locations. There 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.

Bomba has also identified 97 locations where road links are most susceptible to be cut-off, with the majority located in Sibu with 42 locations there.

There are also 77 landslides prone locations, with Sibu again having the lions share at 32.

Uggah said the department had enlisted some 1,590 officers and men during the period.

“To beef up their manpower, some 9,187 members from 921 Bomba Komuniti teams, 8,624 members under the 40 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programme and others will be enlisted,” said Uggah, who is also Deputy Premier of Sarawak.

In terms of logistics, Bomba is readying 48 boats, 16 lorries, 87 four-wheel vehicles and a helicopter.

From the police (PGA, Marine, Air Wing and divisional and district police stations), Uggah said some 1,663 officers and men would be involved together with 52 lorries, 109 four- wheelers,119 cars, 35 vans and an ambulance and a bus.

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

The police has to-date identified 631 evacuation centres capable of accommodating 188,360 evacuees in schools and community centres.

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.

Uggah said the State newly formed Sarawak Coastguard was also chipping in with six interceptor craft, six longboats and 100 personnel.

On other vital assets, he added the State had 245 rainfall, 280 telemetry and 114 water level stations.

Meanwhile he added a three-day course would be held in Sibu next month to better prepare those involved in the rescue operations.

On another matter, Uggah would like to thank His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, the Sultan of Johor, for graciously donating 6,400 pieces of tents to SDMC, under his Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim Johor programme. — DayakDaily