GEORGE TOWN – The Penang Civil Defence Force (APM) and state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) are ready to deploy their manpower any time if a flood hits during the monsoon season.
Northeast district APM officer, Captain (PA) Muhammad Aizat Abdul Ghani told Bernama that over 1,000 APM members would be on standby throughout the state.
He said they would be stationed at five APM district offices and two unit offices, with its headquarters located in Jalan Ayer Itam.
“Although we cannot deploy all of them to one spot, reinforcements can be despatched in phases if further assistance is needed in a certain area.
“In terms of assets, APM has modes of transportation such as lorries, boats, ambulances and four-wheel drive vehicles on standby.
“We ensure that all these vehicles are available in all five districts in Penang,” he added.
APM has identified 287 flood-prone areas in Penang, with Seberang Perai Tengah having the biggest number of flood-prone areas at 95, followed by Northeast district (56), Seberang Perai Utara (56), Southwest district (47) and Seberang Perai Selatan (33).
Meanwhile, Bomba Penang director, Saadon Mokhtar said the department had a manpower of 800 firefighters and officers ready.
He said its assets included 27 fire engines, seven water tankers and four turntable ladder vehicles, as well as 12 rapid intervention motorcycles, 10 Emergency Medical Response Services (EMRS) vehicles, two Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Unit vehicles and 32 boats.
It was reported on Oct 4 that the Meteorological Department of Malaysia (MetMalaysia) forecasted heavy rain in Penang, Kedah and Perlis from Wednesday (Oct 7) until Friday (Oct 9).
The monsoon transition phase is expected to last until early November.