ALOR SETAR, Sept 6 — An early warning system to detect tremors and soil movement must be installed in Gunung Jerai to alert residents in the event of a disaster in the area.
Fire and Rescue Department (JPBM) director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the warning system will be able to minimise loss of lives.
“I had discussions with the Department of Mineral and Geoscience (JMG) yesterday. Gunung Jerai has high-risk slope areas susceptible to disasters such as the water-surge phenomenon on Aug 18, especially when there is heavy rainfall.
“So there is a need for an early warning system to detect tremors which would be able to alert local residents,” he told reporters after Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib’s visit to the Kedah Fire and Rescue Department here today.
He said the warning system could be a joint effort with relevant agencies who would then be able to plan what needs to be done before, during and after disaster strikes.
“We have learned a lot from the water surge incident in Gunung Jerai last month. I would like to propose that emergency preparedness training be given to the local community so that they know what to do in the event of a disaster,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Hamdan said the department has also formed several squads comprising mountain guides and fishermen for search and rescue operations in mountain areas and at sea.
“JBPM has formed special squads in areas frequented by visitors. For example, we have selected eligible mountain guides as voluntary firemen in the Mountain Search and Rescue Unit (MOSAR) in Mount Kinabalu in Sabah.
“It would take longer for our firemen to traverse the mountain areas as they could be unfamiliar with the terrain. The local mountain guides are familiar with their areas and as such, search and rescue operations will be quicker,” he said.
He said several more such squads will be formed soon and as for Gunung Jerai, this can be done through collaboration with local enforcement agencies, mountain guides and residents.
Earlier, Ismail presented certificates of appreciation to JBPM and other enforcement agencies personnel involved in the Gunung Jerai SAR operation. — Bernama