NIBONG TEBAL: Some 400 residents of Ladang Byram and Kampung Kebun Baru, have been advised to evacuate to two relief centres, following the fire at the Pulau Burung landfill area near Nibong Tebal, last Wednesday.

State Environment and Welfare Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the relief centres at Sekolah Kebangsaan Saujana Indah and Sekolah Kebangsaan Bakap Indah would be opened to the 86 families after discussions with the related agencies today.

“Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and State Secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Razak Jaafar visited the site of the fire this afternoon and the agencies involved, among them the police, Penang Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force and the Health Ministry were briefed on the evacuation plan and other assistance to be given to the affected residents,“ he told Bernama when contacted here, today.

Phee said his office was identifying those affected to be included in the list to facilitate evacuation and assistance.

“We are also taking into account the standard operating procedures (SOP) to be implemented for the safety of the residents and the MOH will also conduct screening on the evacuees, to curb the spread of Covid-19 among them.

“Only two male adult members of each household are allowed to check on their house and properties and they must report to the police each time they enter the housing area which is now classified as a restricted area,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Seberang Perai Selatan District Disaster Management Committee chairman, Marlia Mohd Belia said the DOE has conducted air quality monitoring at three locations, namely Seberang Perai Selatan District Mosque, Changkat Village Community Council (MPKK) Hall and Kampung Kebun Baru MPKK Hall, apart from placing a mobile quality monitoring station at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Byram.

“The DOE will continue to monitor air quality from time to time and the public is reminded to continue to abide by the health advice such as to avoid outdoor activities, seek treatment at a nearby clinic or hospital when there are symptoms of shortness of breath or when feeling unwell and to always wear a mask when outdoors, “ he said in a statement here today.

The Pulau Burung landfill site at Nibong Tebal was reported to have caught fire at about 5pm last Wednesday and JBPM’s initial action with the help of the Volunteer Fire Brigade was to form a ‘fire break’ to prevent the fire from spreading further.

About 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of the 16.2-hectare (40 acres) landfill site was affected but no casualties were reported. — Bernama