PUTRAJAYA, September 22 — A total of 5,496 flood-prone locations in the country have been identified in addition to 186 water surge locations and 122 critical slopes, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said today.

The minister said the locations are scattered across six states — Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak — with all of them currently being monitored closely by the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba).

“As for the logistic aspects, close to 2,000 assets which includes air, water and land vehicles and machines are in good condition.

“These machines and vehicles are ready to be mobilised for emergencies and disasters,” he told the media after launching the Bomba’s preparations in facing the upcoming monsoon at the Bomba headquarters here.

A total of 30,000 Bomba personnel have been mobilised in preparation for the upcoming north-east monsoon season, he said.

The officers from 332 fire and rescue departments nationwide, also include auxiliary and volunteer firemen.

This is followed by 4,000 special branch officers such as the water rescue team, Hazmat and EMRS as well as the air rescue team, and the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM).

Reezal added that he had been closely following updates from the Malaysian Meteorological Department, and said that the monsoon is expected to hit Malaysia from November this year to March next year.

“A lot of unexpected things happened during last year’s flood, like the one which hit Taman Sri Muda in Shah Alam. The water level which normally covers just the ground level has risen up covering the third floor.

“The area is also quite small and the abandoned cars made it difficult for rescue boats to go through. So we need to learn from these and improve,” he added.

Aside from that, he said to ensure smooth and optimum flood emergency management, Bomba will be implementing the Emergency Management Cycle.

This cycle includes mitigation, where research was done at hot spots, preparedness in terms of equipment and training as well as response and recovery which involves relocating victims and cleaning up process.

It has also set up a few Regional Forward Bases in three regions to store its logistics needs in preparation for the impending flood and to minimise response time.