KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Civil Defence Department officials have prepared logistics and training to face the ongoing north-east monsoon season, bracing for any possible floods and disasters that might follow suit.
The Department’s Sabah director Asst Comm Sharudin Md Zain said 859 hotspots involving 31 districts and sub-districts could face floods and related disasters during this season, which is expected to last till March 2024.
He said they have 78 land and 122 sea assets to dispatch in emergencies.
He said that together with other emergency and rescue agencies, 12,055 rescuers will be placed on standby to ensure smooth rescue efforts when needed.
“In addition to the other rescue agencies, there will be 1,314 assets - 914 land, 390 sea, and 10 air - that will be used for emergencies,” Sharudin said.
For placement of displaced victims, 423 temporary shelters that can fit almost 151,000 victims are also ready for use, he said.
He added that the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) has prepared 4,000 meal kits as early assistance for disaster victims.
Sharudin said several training sessions are planned and underway, with the first held on Nov 5 for the Telupid, Tongod, Ranau, and Paitan areas.
The following session was held for Beaufort, Sipitang, Papar, Membakut and Menumbok on Nov 11, Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu on Nov 13 and for Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Tuaran, Putatan, Kota Belud and Sulaman, as well as Tawau, Kalabakan, Kunak, Semporna and Sebatik on Nov 19.
He said districts like Sandakan will hold their training on Nov 22, while Keningau, Tambunan, Nabawan, and Tenom will hold theirs on Nov 29.
Sharudin said that the usual flood-prone and disaster areas in Sabah include Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Pitas, Beaufort, Penampang, Kota Belud, and Kota Marudu.
“During the last monsoon season, we recorded 25 major incidents involving floods, fire, and strong winds in Sabah, displacing 13,472 victims from 4,563 families who had to take shelter in the 54 displacement centres statewide,” he said.
He urged the public to monitor weather conditions at all times, take preventive measures, and prepare for evacuations when necessary.