KUALA LUMPUR: Government agencies including the Public Works Department, response agencies, Welfare Department, Malaysian Meteorological Department as well as Irrigation and Drainage Department are on high alert for the North-East Monsoon which is expected to be felt until March next year.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad in an oral answer posted on the Parliament website today said the Public Works Department will identify and monitor roads that have been flooded or hit by slope collapse, located near rivers and in low-lying areas that may be affected.

“The Social Welfare Department provides 5,731 relief centres, eight Disaster Supplies Storage Depots, 165 disaster storage facilities or mini depots or containers and 521 bases.

“The Malaysian Meteorological Department and the Irrigation and Drainage Department have conducted briefings on the North-East Monsoon to state and district disaster management agencies. The departments concerned will also ensure the dissemination of information and weather forecasts in the mass media,“ he said.

Abd Latiff said the response agencies had 66,105 staff; 8,374 land and water vehicles as well as 20,644 non-vehicle assets namely safety jackets, generator sets and others.

“Each State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) has been requested to implement disaster simulations, coordinate assets, logistics and human resources, immediately activate the Disaster Operations Control Centres during disasters and mobilise water, land and air assets when needed,” he said.

Abd Latiff said all local authorities were requested to maintain the drainage system to prevent floods while all dam owners were asked to inform the water release plan in advance to the relevant agencies.

Apart from that, he said the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) in collaboration with telecommunication companies would continue the initiative to deliver flood warnings through short messaging system (SMS) to residents in flood-prone areas.-Bernama