PUTRAJAYA: The government has started full-scale preparations to deal with the monsoon floods, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The deputy prime minister said a wide range of assets and facilities had been put in place, especially in low-lying areas.
A total of 1,775 boats, 20 helicopters and 13 Bailey bridges are ready for use, while 1,182 medical and health teams are on standby.
Some 4,490 evacuation centres had also been identified, he said after chairing a meeting of the committee on management and centralised aid for disaster victims at the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) yesterday.
“I have asked for additional assets such as boats for fear of a cut in communications between flood victims and the authorities.
“Authorities such as the Drainage and Irrigation Department will continue to deepen the rivers to avert potential occurences of flooding.”
Najib said the Meterological Services Department had predicted heavier than normal rainfall in the next few months.
“We are doing our level best to improve ways and methods to distribute or update information on floods.
“The Meteorological Services Department’s website will feature more detailed information so that those residing in low-lying areas in particular will be more prepared.”
Last year, he said the government had spent about RM61 million on assistance for flood victims and repairing infrastructure.
Najib said warnings should be issued frequently to those in areas expected to be hit by floods.
The Meteorological Services Department and the Drainage and Irrigation Department will be making announcements on the water levels of the main rivers with the help of Radio Televisyen Malaysia.
The committee also agreed that private broadcasting stations such as Media Prima and Astro would be airing those announcements as well.
To prevent motorists from being stranded, the Works Department will be providing online real-time information on roads or stretches which have been hit by floods.Ã‚Â
Source : NST