Flood alert in southwestern Sarawak

Uggah observing the operations of the barrage in Sarawak River, Kuching.— ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: Several areas in the state’s southwestern region have been placed on flood alert following an anticipation that the king tides will occur from Dec 13 to 18.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the king tides were expected to reach between 6m and 6.4m in height.

Among the high-risk areas include Kampung Bako Hulu and Kampung Buntal Hulu in Kuching; Kampung Sileng Dayak in Lundu, Kampung Baru and Sebuyau town in Simunjan, Sri Aman (Sambau longhouse, Nanga Entulang and Sri Aman town area), Saratok (Kabong) and Kampung Jerijeh, Kampung Rajang and Kampung Belawai in Tanjung Manis.

In Kota Samarahan, areas to be potentially affected include Kampung Tebelu Hulu, Sebuyau, Kampung Menek Sebangan, Kampung Tambirat, Kampung Meranek, Kampung Tungkah Melayu and Sebangan.

“The state is making preparations to face the king tides from Dec 13 to 18, which may reach as high as 6.5m.

“If heavy rain occurs during the period, several areas might be flooded. We hope the people are bracing for the flood as well,” he told reporters after visiting the Sungai Sarawak barrage here.

Uggah, who is also Sarawak Disaster Relief Committee chairman, was briefed on the flood monitoring systems in place at the barrage and the Drainage and Irrigation Department’s telemetry station.

“The system is at a satisfactory level. We are confident about the operation as it will help us minimise flood impact in Kuching,” he said.

He added that a strength of over 17,000 personnel and officers from relevant government agencies had been placed on standby to face any potential natural disaster.

The natural disaster management front line will consist of about 5,000 Civil Defence Forces that are ready to be mobilised within the first hour of a disaster, 6,700 armed forces, 2,344 police officers, 1,343 Fire and Rescue personnel, 1,089 from Rela’s Crisis Management Team and 1,129 from the Welfare Department.

In terms of logistics, the committee has access to five helicopters, 154 lorries, 358 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 226 boats and 50 ambulances across the state.

“All agencies have made their preparations accordingly including the Welfare Department that is also strengthened with volunteers and counsellors. Supplies for relief centres have also been prepared,” Uggah said, advising the people to be cautious of flood and other disasters.

He noted that the Forestry Department would be put on alert for any incidents of crocodiles or other wildlife in contact with human habitats during the flood.

The Meteorological Department said there were chances of rain next week in the said areas, considering that the state was currently facing the monsoon season that could last till early February.

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Family & Community , East Malaysia , flood


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