Sarawak Braces For Natural Disasters

Foto The Borneo Post
KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Relief Committee is now getting its more than 17,000 members ready to handle natural disasters, in line with October being declared National Preparedness Month by the federal government.

Its members are from the Armed Forces (7,912), police (1,344), Fire and Rescue Department (1,343), Rela’s Crisis Management Team (1,089) and Welfare Department (1,129).

“The Civil Defence Force (APM) acts as the committee’s secretariat, and they have 5,000 personnel ready to be mobilised in the first hour of a disaster,” said its new chairman, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, yesterday.

In terms of logistics, the committee has access to five helicopters, 154 lorries, 358 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 226 boats and 50 ambulances across the state.

Uggah, who took over the helm from former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, said the National Preparedness Month was declared by the National Disaster Management Committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In line with this, all Residents, District Officers and heads of departments and agencies in the state had been instructed to plan and implement natural disaster preparedness programmes for the whole of next month.

He told a press conference here yesterday after chairing a meeting of the committee that the three-hour meet was to make sure the state was ready to face any eventuality in the event natural disasters strike.

Meanwhile, the committee also had a new deputy chairman in the person of Deputy State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion, who took over from Datu Misnu Taha.

On disaster management expenditure, Uggah said the Welfare Department had until this July spent RM2.821 million to assist 62,514 victims of floods, landslides, drought and fire.

He added that the first phase of the flood compassionate fund totalling RM1.813 million from the national disaster fund had been disbursed by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to 3,626 heads of households in the state.

“The remaining 7,008 recipients will receive their compassionate money in the second and third phase of disbursement, totalling RM3.504 million in October.”-BP

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