Chan: Sarawak prepared to face floods


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 11 Oct 2003

By STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: Sarawak has drawn up a contingency plan to help people in the rural areas who may be stranded and have their food and other essential supplies cut off by floods during the monsoon season. 

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said the Sarawak Natural Disaster Relief Committee, which he heads, had identified a number of “danger” areas in the various divisions. 

“We have enough food and fresh water supply to face any eventuality. We have worked out how to get to these areas in times of need,” he said. 

Dr Chan, who is also the state Finance, Public Utilities and Industrial Development Minister, said that most of the danger areas were in the southern half of the state. 

“The first division (Kuching division) usually faces more flood problems as it has the heaviest rainfall compared with the rest of Sarawak. The amount of rain received in Kuching is double that recorded in Miri,” he said. 

Asked whether the state needed any back-up from the Federal Government in terms of rescue equipment, Dr Chan said the state agencies responsible for flood relief and rescue operations had their own equipment and boats. 

The federal authorities, especially the Fire and Rescue Department, have their own facilities and manpower on standby in the state, he added. 

Dr Chan also said that the weather pattern in Peninsular Malaysia and this part of the country differed. 

“While the northern states in the peninsula are having the monsoon, Sarawak is still in the inter-monsoon season.  

“However, the past few weeks have seen more rainfall in Sarawak. I have directed the various agencies (involved in weather monitoring) to be on the alert and give early warnings so that we will not be caught off-guard,” he said.  

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