Northern Sarawak on flood alert for the next five days

Abang Johari (centre) looks at the satellite image of the ​weather distribution after attending the briefing at the State Disaster Management Committee at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya here.

KUCHING, Dec 21: People living in the northern region of the state are advised to be on alert these five days as the state’s Meteorological Department is forecasting torrential rain and flood risk in those areas.

In delivering the warning, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg also encouraged residents of the affected areas to also download the myCuaca mobile app on their Android and iOS mobile devices where real-time weather forecast is displayed by the Meteorological Department, and that the people would have time to prepare if needed.

Speaking to reporters after attending a briefing by the State Disaster Management Committee at Petra Jaya here today, he said even when it only involves flash floods where water levels will receded as quickly as it rises, people are advised to be vigilant and not to take it for granted, as what had happened in Limbang where a 52-year-old teacher lost her life after being swept away by the strong flood current upon exiting her vehicle which was reportedly stranded in the middle of a flash flood.

“I was briefed about what happened in Limbang. There was flood on the road with a strong current, and the car was driven across the road. But we have no details and confirmed reports on what actually happened. But the most possible explanation was that strong current swept the victim away.

“So we have to be cautious in this time of flood season and the State Disaster Management Committee will do its part like opening up relief centres, preparing food rations and looking after the affected people’s welfare. Other agencies such as Civil Defense, bomba, police and army are also on standby,” said Abang Johari.

Abang Johari (centre) speaks to reporters after attending the briefing at the State Disaster Management Committee at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya here.

As for urban areas, he highlighted several drainage upgrading works and flood mitigation projects being carried out throughout the state with the allocation of RM100 million approved earlier this year.

He said the people should not expect these projects to be completed in a couple of months but gave his assurance that in the long run, it would mitigate the urban flooding situation.

Among the projects Abang Johari highlighted were the 114 projects all over the state where RM45.78 million has been allocated this year to implement 97 projects. Six would be completed by the end of the year or early next year. Fifty-one projects, he added, would commence next year.

As of Dec 20, 2017, 13 projects have been completed while 71 are still ongoing. As a medium-term measure, he said, upgrading works were being done to major drainage outlets at the Sarawak General Hospital, Jalan Batu Lintang, Taman Malihah and the Federal Quarters at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee to name a few. — DayakDaily