Safely riding out the storm

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 24 Jul 2020

On standby: The DBKL rescue squad is equipped with boats, a jet ski, scramblers and other equipment for flood rescue operations. — P NATHAN/The Star

RELIEF centres can be set up by Kuala Lumpur City (DBKL) Hall within 15 minutes in the event of floods or other disasters in Kuala Lumpur.

With heavy rain causing flash floods in several parts of the Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur mayor Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said relief centres to house flood victims could be quickly set up at DBKL community halls.

“If there are flash floods or any other disasters that require residents to be evacuated, the nearest community halls will be utilised.

“All of our branch officers are also on standby and can be mobilised to set up the necessary facilities while the Welfare Department will provide victims with food.”

He added that DBKL officers were also aware of mandatory Covid-19 guidelines to ensure that there would not be any outbreaks at these relief centres.

It was reported that Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had warned that temporary shelters set up to house flood victims could be a source of Covid-19 infection among victims and rescue workers.

“The situation at a crowded shelter may increase the risk of infection. Therefore, steps to prevent infections have to be given attention to by both the victims and agencies involved, ” he said in a statement.

Taman Kristal in Dengkil was inundated after heavy rain on Sunday morning led coveto flash floods. -BernamaTaman Kristal in Dengkil was inundated after heavy rain on Sunday morning led coveto flash floods. -Bernama

The KL mayor said standard operating procedure (SOP) such as social distancing must be strictly observed.

Among the Health Ministry’s recommendations to manage Covid-19 at relief centres are social distancing markings at common areas, soap or hand sanitiser placed at strategic locations such as entrances, tents or cubicles placed at least 2m apart, 3-ply masks for victims with symptoms and an isolation area at the relief centre to house them.

Nor Hisham added that DBKL had identified several high-risk and flood-prone areas in the city.

Locations such as Jalan Ampang, Jalan Ipoh, Taman Billion, Batu Muda Tambahan, Jalan Tun Razak and Kampung Sungai Penchala are constantly being monitored during continual rainfall for possible floods.

DBKL Enforcement Department director Osman Ismail said a 15-member rescue team was also on hand per shift in case of floods in the city.

“This does not include traffic wardens that act as scouts and will be deployed to flood-prone areas when it starts to rain.

“They will update the operations centre if there is a possibility of flooding and help to divert traffic as needed, ” he said.

The squad is equipped with rescue boats, jet ski, scramblers and other equipment to carry out rescue operations.

“If the operations centre receives any reports of fallen trees, landslides or flash floods, the rescue team will be first responders at the scene.

“Depending on the situation, we will also engage with the Fire and Rescue Department and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, ” Osman added.

Flood victims being put up at the Dengkil community hall after several parts of the town were inundated. — BernamaFlood victims being put up at the Dengkil community hall after several parts of the town were inundated. — Bernama

Nor Hisham said that routine maintenance to clean drainage and desilt monsoon drains was ongoing.

“This is to ensure that there are no obstructions for floodwaters to drain off.

“We are also issuing a stern reminder to developers and contractors to ensure that they follow DBKL’s SOP when it comes to surface run-off at their worksites.

We will not hesitate to take action if they are found to be flouting our guidelines,” he added.

As a long-term measure, DBKL has prepared the Drainage and Stormwater Management Masterplan which provides a framework for management of urbanisation through flood plain management, channelisation and the design and construction of flood control storage facilities.

“The plan details proposals in 25 catchment areas for short and long-term solutions in flood management.

“These projects and solutions will be executed based on priority and budget,” he said, adding that the plan would be in effect until 2028.

The public can alert DBKL about floods and disasters by calling its hotline at 1800-88-3255.

In Selangor, floods hit 41 areas across five districts in Selangor namely Hulu Langat, Sepang, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Klang over the weekend.

The Hulu Langat district was the worst hit with 22 locations flooded.

Sepang was the second worst hit with 12 locations flooded while hundreds of flood victims had to be put up in relief centres in Dengkil.

Selangor public infrastructure and facility, agricultural modernisation and agro-based industry executive councillor Izham Hashim said the state government would follow SOP at flood relief centres.

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