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‘Live Flood Updates to Enable Better Response’

KUCHING: The central operations room of the State Disaster Management Committee at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here will utilise video conferencing to obtain the latest update on the flood situation in every district in Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah revealed that the system is already in place and ready to be used.

We have tried with some areas and it looks very interesting. In other words, whatever communication we have with the district or division on the flood will be conveyed live to the groups.

From there, we can mobilise our team on how to operate under the situation, he told reporters after chairing a State Disaster Management Committee meeting here yesterday.

On the available manpower, Uggah said there are 22,436 personnel from the armed forces, Civil Defence Force, Fire and Rescue Department, police, Rela, Welfare Department, State Health Department, and resident and district offices currently on standby.

Aside from that, he said five helicopters, five drones, 131 lorries, 184 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 328 boats, and 101 ambulances are ready for use, while there are also 621 evacuation centres that can accommodate up to 200,000 victims from all divisions.

I am very happy with the preparation of all the agencies to face whatever may happen during this coming monsoon season.

We are quite experienced in handling the flood situation. The only thing is the major flood area seems to shift 2016 in Kuching, 2017 in Miri and 2018 in Selangau area.

This year, we do not know where the major flood is going to happen, he said.

Uggah, however, assured that the committee has had a detailed discussion on how to position their hardware so that the best services can be given to flood victims while also preventing damage to properties as well as the loss of life.

He said from past experiences, Sarawak tends to experience serious flooding starting from the end of December until March.

Next year, we are not sure. We pray there will be no floods, he said.


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