Concern over prevailing hot and dry weather in southern Sarawak

MIRI: A drought red-alert has been issued in southern Sarawak as the state government activates its drought-crisis centre.

Yesterday, the southern divisions of Kuching, Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman and Betong were listed as red-alert areas with the hot and dry weather reaching a serious level.

The State Disaster Relief Committee headquarters in Kuching issued the activation directive that listed the southern divisions as immediate areas of concern.

The directive was signed by head of the committee’s secretariat Major (Rtd) Ismail Mahedin.

The directive had been distributed to all relevant government agencies and departments involved in disaster mitigation in Sarawak including the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department.

Miri Fire Chief Supt Law Poh Kiong confirmed his office had received the directive.

Major Ismail said the committee was worried about the prevailing hot and dry weather in the state.

“The directive on the activation of the drought crisis centres in the divisions throughout the state is with immediate effective.

“Particular attention is on Kuching, Serian, Samarahan, Sri Aman and Betong (southern Sarawak).

“All other divisions were also told to activate their centres,” he said.

The order to activate the centres is to prepare for water shortages.

In many parts of Sarawak, including Miri, mid-day temperatures can soar to about 35 degrees Celcius.

Miri mayor Adam Yii had warned residents that open burning is not allowed.

He said there is a total ban on open burning in Miri city and Kuala Baram district. He repeated the warning following cases of wildfire over the past week or so.