Possible third flood wave

JOHOR BARU: Preparations to face a potential third flood wave in the state is being bolstered with the participation of more agencies in the disaster management machinery.

Johor National Security Council (MKN) principal assistant secretary Azura Muhammed Kifli said new agencies from the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had been roped in to assist.

She said every district had also been asked to come up with an integrated staging asset plan to minimise logistics wastage.

“We will coordinate the use of agency assets such as boats, lorries and trucks so that there would not be any overlapping in the aid process,” she said.

Meanwhile, state Fire and Rescue operations assistant director Mohd Rizal Buang said the department was in the process of overhauling its assets that were borrowed for the flood incidents in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

He said the 44 personnel involved in the operation to assist the three affected states had been recalled following improved situation in the areas.

“We have 52 boats of different types, 60 four-wheel drive vehicles and 10 five-tonne and three-tonne lorries which can be used for rescue operations. We also have a workforce strength of 1,200,” he said when contacted here.

Mohd Rizal said the department also has 600 volunteer personnel and 50 auxiliary personnel ready to be deployed in the event of a flood.

“I also noted that residents here are more aware and take the initiative to evacuate when the water rises. There has been no case in which our personnel had to use a boat to rescue trapped victims,” he said.

Nevertheless, he advised the community to stay alert on any warning and instructions issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia).

The districts expected to be hit by floods due to the monsoon include Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Batu Pahat and Muar.

On Jan 3, MetMalaysia said continuous rainfall for two to three days on Jan 7 or Jan 8 would possibly affect states such as Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. — Bernama

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