No move yet to declare sungai Kim Kim a disaster zone

Datuk Osman Sapian (second, right) during a briefing on toxic pollution in Pasir Gudang. -Bernamapic

JOHOR BARU: There is no plan yet to declare the areas surrounding Sungai Kim Kim as a disaster zone.

Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian said the state government was more focused on conducting clean-up work along the river.

Saying there was no need to carry out an evacuation exercise, he advised people living within a 5km radius of the affected area to take extra precautions.

“So far, at least 1.2km of the river is believed to be polluted. We hope to clean up the river within a week as we have increased our contractors from one to three,” Osman told reporters after chairing a meeting of the state disaster management committee which he heads.

He said the state government had set aside RM6.4mil to manage the crisis and provide assistance to the victims.

Asked whether the pollution could still spread despite the clean-up exercise, he hoped that the situation would start improving.

On whether more schools would be closed, Osman said they were monitoring the situation as there were 42 schools within a 15km radius of the affected area.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad rubbished claims that there were deaths related to the toxic pollution.

He said 506 people were treated yesterday while 166 had been warded.This brings the total number to 975.

“We also have nine victims in intensive care,” he said after attending the meeting.

On the ambulance driver who was warded in intensive care, Dzulkefly said he was getting better and was now in the normal ward.

He urged those experiencing symptoms of breathing difficulty to seek treatment and advised the people not to enter the affected areas.

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