KOTA KINABALU: A 1,000-strong staff of Sabah Civil Defence Force (APM) are all set to face any eventuality caused by the north-east monsoon which started late last month.
While no natural disaster reports due to the monsoon, which will last until March next year, have been reported in the state so far, several districts in the west coast have been identified as potential flood zones, namely Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Putatan, Papar, Tuaran and Kota Belud.
State director Kol Kamal Mokhtar said the impact of the monsoon in the interior districts of Beaufort and Kuala Penyu as well as other districts will be based on the wind’s direction and pattern.
“The staff are ready to go into action within the first four hours of any natural disasters while the hours after that will be based on the needs arising from the disaster, ” he said.
APM personnel, he added, are skilled as well as physically and mentally prepared having undergone training to face any types of disaster.
“Every APM district location statewide has been supplied with sufficient equipment and logistics to carry out its duties during disasters, and our officers at all districts have also briefed the communities on our functions, ” Kol Kamal said.
As the secretariat for state-level and district-level disaster management, APM has been updating information about high-risk areas including population density and assets needed in that particular area.
“Sabah APM has also ensured the upkeep of assets to be used during operations, namely 14 units of 4x4 vehicles, six units of three-tonne lorries, eight units of five-tonne lorries and 192 boats of various sizes. These assets are ready to be deployed when needed.”
Kol Kamal reminded the public to contact the nearest APM office should they require assistance during disasters.