Pulau Burung landfill: Fire levels reduced to 58%, says CM

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Jan 2022

NIBONG TEBAL: Fire levels at the Pulau Burung landfill area stand at 58%, 11 days after it first broke out, says Chow Kon Yeow.

The Penang Chief Minister said the fire, which started on Jan 12, has been reduced.

"The area has been divided into five sectors to make it easier to manage.

"The fire and rescue department has managed to put out sector four, which spans 2.46ha.

"They are now concentrating on the other four sectors, but will still monitor sector four in case of a breakout," he said during a press conference after meeting with the relevant agencies involved in putting out the Pulau Burung landfill fire, held at the Sungai Jawi multipurpose hall on Saturday (Jan 22).

Chow said the 90 displaced families from two villages near Pulau Burung, who had to move out of their homes on Jan 16, will be given RM1,000 each as part of the state’s Disaster Aid.

"We will be giving out the money as soon as possible to help them with their needs and rations," he said.

On the strategies used to put out the fire, state Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Hafiz Hafizal Timaradin said compared to water bombing, ground attacks on the fire have been fruitful.

"From what we have seen, attacking the fire from the ground has worked better.

"We have 50 people on the ground at any given time and are working round the clock to put out the fire.

"We are concentrating on sector one and two, as it is on flat ground while we have requested for the rubbish on sectors three and four to be flattened to make it easier to put out the fire," he said.

When asked about why it has taken this long to put out the fire, Mohd Hafiz said as the whole area spans 11.33ha, it will take some time.

"It is close to the sea which makes it difficult, as there are strong winds which have caused a hindrance," he said.

It was reported that more than 11ha of the landfill was burned in a fire that broke out on Jan 12.

Toxic fumes at the landfill resulted in air pollution which affected the nearby Ladang Byram and Kampung Kebun Baru, prompting the evacuation of some 400 people from both villages.

Ten schools within a 10km radius of the landfill were also ordered to close for three days from Jan 19.

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