Sarawak govt prepared for floods, JKMS ready to activate 627 temporary evacuation centres

Fatimah speaking to reporters about Sarawak's flood preparedness.

KUCHING, Sept 21: The Sarawak government is prepared to deal with any flooding which may occur during the yearend monsoon season.

According to a press statement issued today by the Ministry for Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK), the Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKMS) is preparing to activate 627 temporary evacuation centres (PPS) throughout Sarawak with the capacity to house 162,091 individuals.

Meanwhile, in terms of disaster relief storage, JKMS has one large-scale disaster storage depot, three mini depots, and 16 stores at divisional and district social welfare offices.

Furthermore, JKMS has prepared 25 front bases to house dry food aid for areas that are relatively far inland to ensure that the delivery of disaster aid is not disrupted.

A total of 206 suppliers have been designated to provide goods to victims during disasters, with 77 being large-scale suppliers and the remaining 129 small-scale suppliers.

In the meantime, 252 cooked food suppliers are preparing for the upcoming monsoon season.

Moreover, in an effort to improve preparedness for the Northeast Monsoon, JKMS will host a State-level charity training and disaster simulation programme at Dewan Ranchan, Serian, on September 27, with 200 participants from various government agencies, community leaders, villagers, and local leaders.

Besides that, JKMS has 48 cars that can be used for disaster operations, 10,000 collapsible tents, and 272 mobile partitions.

In the event of a flood disaster in Sarawak, a total of 1,971 JKMS staff and volunteers are prepared to be mobilised, while 285 people, including counselling officers and the psychological support team, will assist flood victims who have been emotionally affected by the disaster.

Additionally, the District Disaster Management Committees (JPBD), chaired by a Resident or District Officer, must be activated immediately and strengthened at all disaster locations.

This is because JPBD performs vital roles such as rescue and aid delivery at disaster sites, while the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and Sarawak Disaster Information Department (JPBN) coordinate at the federal and State levels.

JKMS will provide food and other necessities to disaster victims who have been relocated to PPS.

Simultaneously, JPBN and JPB divisions and districts must be prepared in advance to ensure that supplied aid reaches all locations involved, avoiding a more difficult situation in the event of road closures, and so on.

Residents throughout Sarawak, particularly those who live in low-lying areas at risk of flooding, should always be aware of early warnings of disasters and evacuate immediately if instructed by authorities.

As per Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia)’s preparedness report, the transition phase of the Monsoon will begin in mid-September and last until November.

The Northeast Monsoon (MTL) 2022/2023 is expected to begin in November 2022 and last until March 2023.

Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang are expected to experience heavy monsoon rains from November to December 2022, while Johor, Sabah, and Sarawak are expected to experience heavy monsoon rains from December 2022 to January 2023. — DayakDaily