All set for floods but more manpower needed – Nation

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PETALING JAYA: Disaster management and relief agencies are in a rush to gear up for major floods in a east coast of the peninsula with the arrival of the north-east monsoon next month.

National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) operations director Datuk Azizan Abu Taat said the agency is currently identifying additional manpower and resources needed in the flood-prone states.

The agency, which is in charge of coordination on flood preparations at the federal level, aims to complete a nationwide tour of training sessions for district level officials by the end of this month, he added.

“In preparing, we expect the worst. MetMalaysia (Malaysian Meteo­rological Department) has forecast heavy rains, but we hope there won’t be major floods this year,” said Azizan.

While preparations are being made nationwide, emphasis is on flood-prone states including Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.

The country is currently in the inter-monsoon season which started on Sept 28 and ends early November with the arrival of the north-east monsoon.

According to MetMalaysia, the monsoon is expected to make landfall in Kelantan and Terengganu first early next month, followed by Pahang and Johor before shifting to Sabah and Sarawak.

The department expects four to six episodes of heavy rain during this period, with the monsoon expected to last until March next year.

Civil Defence Force (APM) disaster management and operations director Abdul Wahab Rahim said 8,320 APM personnel and volunteers have been assigned and trained to help in flood relief work.

In addition, APM has also prepared 144 four-wheel drive vehicles, 162 lorries, 1,994 ambulances and 341 boats to help in evacuation and relief efforts for victims.

He advised the public not to wait until the very last minute before evacuating their homes.

“People should prepare early. Keep important documents and valuables dry, and if there is continuous heavy rain, seek shelter before the water level gets too high,” said Abdul Wahab.



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