SMART to patrol flood-prone areas during monsoon season

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 3): The Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) will be assigned to conduct group patrols in areas identified as being severely flood-prone during the northeast monsoon season.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad said SMART,  with its modern and sophisticated equipment, would focus on East Coast areas like Pahang and Terengganu, which are expected to be hit by major flooding.

"SMART will conduct patrols from time to time… we have modern equipment like big trucks that can be used to navigate through flooded areas and to evacuate victims.

"This year, (floods) are expected to be as bad as last year and might also be severe,” he said at the end of the SMART Special Course Series 1/2021 at the SMART base, Pulau Meranti near here on Tuesday.

The northeast monsoon season is the main rainy season in the country.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) on Monday (Nov 1), heavy rains are expected in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor from November till early January 2022, following the transition of the northeast monsoon that is expected to begin from Nov 3 until March next year.

Abd Latiff said floods are expected to occur in Maran and Kuala Lipis in Pahang, as well as Kemaman, Terengganu, while major flooding is expected in Sabah and Sarawak early next year, adding that the federal government would assist state governments in managing the flood situation.

"They (the state governments) know where the floods may occur because this is something that happens annually, we just have to be alert about the timing,” he said.

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