Prepare early for floods, says Malaysian PM

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PETALING JAYA – The upcoming northeast monsoon season is expected to hit six Malaysian states with heavy rains, and the government is making early preparations to avoid any major problems.

District-level Disaster Management Committees were instructed to be immediately activated, while RM8 million (S$2.48 million) was allocated to 160 districts for operational purposes.

The government has also allocated RM4.8 million to provide 320 fiberglass boats to different districts, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

At the same time, 6,010 Temporary Relief Centers (PPS) across the country – capable of accommodating 1,620,855 disaster victims – were being prepared by the Department of Social Welfare.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has predicted that the northeast monsoon will hit six states from November this year to March next year.

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 District Disaster Management Committees (JPBD), chaired by the District Manager, should be immediately activated.

“The JPBD has an important function to carry out rescue work and delivery of aid to disaster sites, while the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and the disaster management committees of (JPBN) will coordinate at the central and state levels respectively,” said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri. said in a statement Monday.

Earlier on Monday, he chaired the meeting of the central disaster management committee attended by the chief secretary of the government, the chief ministers and Menteris Besar, the director general of the civil service, the secretaries of the state governments as well than government agencies.

Mr Ismail also said that the government has allocated RM2.59 million to upgrade basic facilities such as bathrooms and toilets in all temporary relief centres.

The Ministry of Education has also been ordered to open school dormitories that are not occupied by the public, especially the elderly, children and women.

Within the first 24 hours of any disaster, the Department of Social Affairs must provide food, as well as infant and elderly needs, such as disposable nappies, to the PPS, Mr Ismail added.

Meanwhile, Nadma has distributed 59,350 food kits and 127,272 cabin tents to the PPS, he said.

“State and district level disaster management committees should prepare in advance to ensure that aid supplies reach all locations early, before roads are cut off and so on. following during the disaster,” he said.

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