Sarawak opens 610 flood evacuation centres

KUCHING: A total of 610 flood evacuation centres will be provided throughout the state in preparation for the floods at the end of this year and early next year.

According to Sarawak Women, Welfare, and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, 177 of the evacuation centres would be in Kuching, while Samarahan will have 51, Sri Aman (38), Betong (14), Sarikei (30), Sibu (48), Mukah (28), Kapit (32), Bintulu (58), Miri (109) and Limbang (25).

She said that 164 suppliers had also been appointed to provide food, drinks and other necessities to the flood victims at the evacuation centres.

Fatimah also said that as with last year, there would be 25 forward bases to store food supplies as well as other necessities.

“These forward bases are really needed because in the event of flood and our roads are cut off, these items can be immediately taken from these places and sent to the evacuation centres without having to be brought from distant urban

centres,” she said.

Fatimah was speaking to reporters after viewing the Sarawak level flood training and simulation exercise at Kampung Batu Kitang Jaya here today.

According to Fatimah, the forward bases would be located about two or three kilometres from the flood evacuation centres.

Besides food and drinks aid, she said the Welfare Services Department would also provide other items such as cooking utensils, sleep items and camps.

She said from January until October this year, the Sarawak Welfare Services Department had spent RM3.7 million as aid to 162,894 victims of various disasters such as fires, landslides, storms, floods and droughts, compared to RM4.5 million for the whole of last year.

She said from January until October this year, a total of 782 disaster cases involving 14,726 families were reported in the state, with drought affecting the most number of victims (79,064), followed by floods (69,530), storms (1,993), fires (1,757) and landslides (551). -BERNAMA