Sarawak prepares to face monsoon season

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah. – ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is making preparations to face the coming northeast monsoon season, with relevant agencies beefing up their manpower and logistics, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Sarawak Deputy Premier said the monsoon is expected to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms from December to January.

"We had fruitful discussions to plan our preparations with division-level administration, relevant departments and agencies statewide," he said in a statement after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting on Wednesday (Sept 21).

Uggah said the Fire and Rescue Department had identified 310 flood-prone locations in the state, including Sibu (73 areas), Sri Aman (52), Kuching (42), Samarahan (40), Miri (40), Bintulu (32) and Limbang (31).

He said the department had also identified 97 locations where road links were most susceptible to be cut off, with most of them in Sibu.

"There are also 77 landslide-prone locations, again with Sibu having the lion's share at 32," he said.

Uggah said 1,590 firemen would be on duty during the monsoon period.

They will be assisted by 9,187 members from community fire and rescue teams and 8,624 members from 40 community emergency response teams.

For logistics, the department has 48 boats, 16 lorries, 87 four-wheel drive vehicles and a helicopter.

Uggah also said 1,663 policemen would be involved during the monsoon season, equipped with 52 lorries, 109 four-wheel drive vehicles and an ambulance.

"To date, the police have identified 631 evacuation centres at schools and community centres which can accommodate a total of 188,360 evacuees," he said.

In addition, he said the Welfare Department had prepared its depots for food and other necessities.

He also said a three-day course would be held in Sibu next month to prepare those involved in rescue operations.

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