KUCHING: People, especially those living in low-lying areas, are urged to be vigilant in bad weather.
Sarawak Fire Department director Datuk Khirudin Drahman, when contacted today (Dec 19), they should be prepared to evacuate their homes when water levels were rising.
He added, ”Based on the disaster guidelines shared by the Sarawak Fire Department, the public are advised to know where the flood evacuation centres are if their housing areas are prone to floods.
“In addition, they should also prepare emergency bags with food, clean water, medicines, important documents and daily necessities in the event of an evacuation.
“They should also make sure that their entire families are aware of the evacuation plan and set a meet-up location for the whole families in case one is separated from the pack.”
Khirudin added the guidelines and precautions in the form of infographics were shared on the department’s social media pages and that the public could easily acquire the information.
“During this monsoon season, the people must follow instructions and orders from the authorities.
“For better preparation, they should identify high grounds in their respective areas and stay informed with latest information from the radio or television,” he stressed.
At a press conference in October this year, Khirudin pointed that his department had identified a total of 349 flood-risk locations throughout Sarawak.
Breaking down the locations into zones, he said, “54 of them are in Zone 1 (Kuching, Bau and Lundu); 61 in Zone 2 (Kota Samarahan, Siburan, Serian, Simunjan and Asajaya); 23 in Zone 3 (Sri Aman, Betong and Saratok); 90 in Zone 4 (Sibu, Sungai Merah, Sarikei, Bintangor, Kanowit, Mukah, Kapit, Song, Daro, Selangau and Sibu Jaya); 13 in Zone 5 (Bintulu, Samalaju and Tatau); 78 in Zone 6 (Miri, Lopeng, Batu Niah and Marudi); and 30 in Zone 7 (Limbang).
“In addition, the department also identified locations where landslides can occur and road access cut off during the monsoon season.
“There are 97 such road (at risk of cut-off) locations in all seven zones, with Sibu and Sri Aman zones topping the list with 42 and 16 locations respectively.”
On landslide locations, Khirudin said there were 77 identified spots with Sibu (32) and Sri Aman (19) prone to landslides as many of the roads were around hills
On personnel and logistics, he said the department had 1,398 officers, 22,175 auxiliary firefighters, 16 lorries, 67 four-by-four vehicles, 37 rescue boats, a helicopter, 18 emergency medical rescue services unit and regional forward bases in Kuching, Sibu and Miri.