PUTRAJAYA, Dec 30 — The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has identified  272 flood hotspots nationwide, according to its director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid.

He said the locations involved rivers, beaches, waterfalls and ditches that have high flood potential.

Mohammad Hamdan said the department has been monitoring the locations since last September but due to the unusual amount of rainfall in nine districts in Selangor from December 18 to 20, the search and rescue (SAR) teams faced some limitations.

“We have deployed our personnel to nine districts including Sepang, Hulu Langat, Gombak and Sabak Bernam to carry out operations to rescue flood victims.

“As for Selangor, due to the rapid rise in floodwaters, we could not meet the needs of the (flood) situation that happened overnight,” he told Bernama at his office today.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hamdan said the manpower shortage had posed a great challenge to the department in conducting the SAR operations during the unprecedented disaster.

“There were thousands of victims that had to be rescued and evacuated to safer places exceeding our capacity,” he said.

In another development, Mohammad Hamdan said JBPM together with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, the Meteorological Department and the National Disaster Management Agency would intensify monitoring activities and preparedness in flood-prone areas.

“Apart from monitoring the flood hotspots, we will also make a risk assessment and take action to ensure that we can manage and control the risks well,” he said. — Bernama