by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic BERNAMA
THE National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) said the 2022/2023 northeast monsoon was expected to be the same as the previous one.
Deputy DG (post-disaster sector) Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus said the agency is preparing for the monsoon season, which starts from November this year to March 2023. He added that the agency was working closely with the state governments to prepare for any eventuality.
Nadma forecasted that from November to December 2022, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang will experience heavy rains during the monsoon season. Johor, Sabah and Sarawak will experience heavy rains from December 2022 to January next year.
Meanwhile, Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang and Kelantan will experience less rain from January to March 2023.
“If the monsoon rains are four or there is a low-pressure weather system in the northern region, the monsoon will be comprehensive and the wet season will be longer,” he explained.
He further stated that continuous heavy rain has the potential to cause floods in flood-prone areas.
The risk of flooding would increase if heavy monsoon rains occurred simultaneously with high tides and storm surges, he added.
Khairul said the agency had been conducting a series of awareness programmes, including training exercises for the community, to equip them with basic knowledge about how to deal with disasters.
“We have conducted several drills, including those involving the community as first responders, so that they can react immediately when faced with a real situation.”
He said there are 1,363 temporary evacuation centres activated across the country as part of the preparations for the monsoon season.
The agency is also coordinating with other government departments and agencies to ensure that all necessary resources are made available when needed.
“The Disaster Management Committee in each state and district needs to play a proactive role during the monsoon season,” he stressed.
Among others, the committee must identify flood hotspots and coordinate and implement mitigation measures such as drainage system maintenance, repairs, retrofitting and early warning systems.
In addition, the agency has held an integrated simulation and exercise that also involved the community as an initial responder through the Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) approach.
“We have 12,534 CBDRM volunteers who have undergone training and are ready to help their communities should there be any emergency situations from January to August this year,” he added.
Furthermore, Nadma has also conducted several awareness campaigns to raise public awareness about the importance of disaster preparedness, especially among vulnerable groups such as children, women, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The state-level disaster management committees and agencies will also coordinate and implement mitigation measures such as early warning systems, drainage system maintenance, repair, retrofitting and asset maintenance.
As of now, Nadma has manpower of 79,549 personnel, 4,409 land assets (lorries, 4×4, buses and vans), 22,622 water assets (boats, engines, boat trailers, life jackets, and jet skis), 20 air assets (helicopters and passenger aircraft) and 705 medical assets.
The agency has also deployed 3,873 disaster management officers, 5,914 disaster management staff, 2,099 disaster management volunteers, 1,746 disaster management auxiliary staff and 1,000 disaster management auxiliary volunteers.