PETALING JAYA: A total of 28,338 firefighters will be on call for floods during the northeast monsoon in Malaysia later this year, the fire and rescue service said.
The director of its operations and rescue division, Datuk Nor Hisham Mohammad, said these included 12,718 department staff, as well as 2,061 auxiliaries and 13,559 volunteers.
“Separately, we also have 4,147 personnel from our special units.
“This includes 631 personnel from the Water Rescue Unit, 1,945 from the Medical Rescue Service, 508 from the Hazardous Materials Team, 459 from the Malaysia Special Tactical and Rescue Operation Team, 561 from the multi-skill team and 43 of the fire and rescue service. The department’s air unit, he said.
He added that 1,856 of his vehicles, including various four-wheel drive vehicles and boats, were also ready for deployment.
“We have identified 4,872 floodplains across the country, including 3,046 in the peninsula and 1,826 in Sabah and Sarawak.
“In addition, 186 flood-prone areas as well as 122 dangerous slope areas have also been identified,” he said.
Nor Hisham added that training exercises had also been conducted as part of general disaster preparedness.
“The training exercises were conducted both internally and with other agencies, with all of our assets being prepared as well,” he said.
“At the same time, we are educating the public on the issue, alongside our continuous monitoring of weather conditions and monsoon troughs, among others.”
The upcoming northeast monsoon season, which is expected to hit six states with heavy rains, also requires the government to prepare early to avoid any major problems.
On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said district-level disaster management committees had been ordered to be immediately activated, while RM8mil had been allocated to 160 districts for operations in anticipation of floods. .
He added that the government had also allocated RM4.8 million to provide 320 fiberglass boats to different districts, while 6,010 temporary relief centers across the country – accommodating 1,620,855 flood victims – were set up. being prepared by the Department of Social Welfare.
Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang are expected to experience heavy rain from November to December while Johor, Sabah and Sarawak are expected to face the same from December to January.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has also predicted higher rainfall during the northeast monsoon later this year.
Its chief executive Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said between four and six episodes of heavy rain were expected to occur during the northeast monsoon, which usually starts in mid-November and continues until next March.
From November to December, the weather would be wetter, especially in the eastern coast states of the peninsula, western Sarawak and eastern Sabah, he said.
Muhammad Helmi added that MetMalaysia has been providing weather briefings to disaster management agencies at central, state and district levels since August, with the public also being briefed from time to time.
It said it conducted a round-the-clock watch while issuing advisories or warnings of heavy rain as well as strong winds and rough seas across its various platforms.