Sarawak Bomba fully geared up to face floods

KUCHING: The Fire and Rescue Department is prepared to face floods in Sarawak during the monsoon season, with personnel and logistics ready to be deployed.

Its director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said logistics and equipment would be deployed in forward bases in three zones – Kuching, Sibu and Miri – to manage flood evacuation and search and rescue operations.

"We have an airbase in Miri with two aircraft ready in case remote areas are cut off by land and require air assistance," he told reporters after visiting the state Fire and Rescue Department's headquarters at Tabuan Jaya here on Monday (Oct 18).

Hamdan said 1,300 personnel in 36 fire stations across Sarawak were ready to assist in the event of floods.

He said they had identified over 300 hotspots prone to floods, as well as 77 areas with dangerous slopes and 97 roads at risk of being cut off.

"We will focus on these areas for disaster management, including evacuating victims and saving property," he said.

At the same time, Hamdan said they were preparing for the eventuality that other locations not identified as hot spots may face severe flooding.

In this regard, he advised local communities to cooperate with government agencies in case of flooding.

"We plan to conduct patrols and training exercises for local communities and provide information and warnings on the risk level and any need to evacuate," he said.

Hamdan also said they would work closely with the state disaster management committee and relevant government agencies to manage floods.

In view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, he said flood-related operations such as evacuations and relief centres would be done in compliance with health standard operating procedures.

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