KEPALA BATAS, Nov 6 – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants 100% preparedness in the early evacuation of flood victims to face the second and third wave of weather change which is expected to persist until next Feb.
Ahmad Zahid said all data on weather forecast obtained from the Meteorological Department would be fully utilised to enable all those to be affected to be evacuated by one week earlier before heavy rain or strong winds occur.
“What’s happening in Penang is a lesson, not aim at pointing fingers but when the Meteorological Department can provide weather forecast results much earlier, then efforts to evacuate can be made. All of this data is new technology and which, if it not utilised, then preparation cannot be done.
“As such, as the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, I will use the method of the Kemamam Floods Management Plan as it predicts a week before it occurs. The physical evacuation is done three days before it occurs,” he told a media conference after visiting the temporary relief centre in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bertam Indah, here today.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.
Earlier Ahmad Zahid spent about half an hour visiting the temporary relief centre before having lunch with the flood victims there.
Commenting on his visit to flood affected areas in Penang, he said facilities and assistance for the flood victims in the state was on the scale of seven out of 10 and the federal government would ensure all essential items and equipment could be channeled to them immediately.
“Since the situation that happened in Penang was unexpected, the facilities and equipment could not be supplied to all victims who have been evacuated. I hope Datuk Seri Shahidan can help Penang chief minister and the state government to carry out coordination,” he said.
He also instructed that the immediate registration of the evacuated flood victims be completed by 10am tomorrow so that there are no delays in financial aid as happened previously.
Ahmad Zahid also said the efforts of the government to assist the Penang DAP government clearly showed that political differences did not prevent those at the top and grassroot levels from channeling aid to the flood victims.
Meanwhile Lim said the Penang DAP government would give full cooperation to the federal government in an effort to ensure that everyone affected in the state received the necessary relief.
“I would like to thank Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, who not only spent time but cancelled seven of his programmes so that he can monitor the flood situation and strong winds in the state. We appreciate his presence and grateful for several announcements made by him on the aid given,” he added. — Bernama