Belait activates command post amidst rainy weather

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds


AN INCIDENT Command Post (ICP) has been set up in Sg Mau to monitor any emergencies caused by heavy rain in rural areas of Belait.

The move, initiated yesterday by Belait’s District Disaster Management Centre (DDMC), headed by its District Office – comes after days of heavy downpour causing flash floods to several areas in Belait.

Kg Sg Mau and the police post in Bukit Puan, Labi had the highest water levels as of yesterday afternoon, measuring at 0.4 metres.

Residents of inner, more rural areas of Belait have been notified by their village heads of ICP’s dedicated hotline at 3339048 and 3339049, with Commanding Officer of Belait’s Fire and Rescue Branch ‘B’ Muhd Shahreeni Hj Mohd Yussof informing that all calls to 995 from monitored areas would be relayed to the post.

The post at Sg Mau’s Balai Raya, located approximately 30 kilometres from Labi, will see the District Office, Emergency Medical and Ambulance Service, Community Development Department (JAPEM) working together with the Fire and Rescue Department and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), who will have personnel manning the post 24 hours.

Muhd Shareeni said the post was set up specifically to centralise any assistance needed and to deploy monitoring teams twice daily to inner areas in the Belait district. “These inner areas (including Sungai Mau, Bukit Sawat, Kg Laid Lakang, Mukim Sukang, Mukim Melinas and Mukim Labi) are prone to floods, and due to the land and location water levels can increase rapidly - to the point where accessibility to and from these areas becomes very difficult.”

In such cases daily necessities such as food can become problematic if water levels do not subside, with the threat of landslides also a possibility.

“In the case of landslides, Fire and Rescue will make assessments to decide what temporary measures can be taken such as the use of canvas, as well as contact the Public Works Department (JKR).

“So when a request or notification is made known to us, we (all the agencies involved at ICP) will activate the relevant parties, so that proper support and specific assistance can be delivered,” he added.

Monitoring is being conducted early in the morning and late afternoon, with RBAF also installing an eight-metre mast to relay information back to their Lumut Camp which houses the Royal Brunei Land Forces Third Battalion.

Specialised multi-purpose vehicles, trucks and boats from both Fire and Rescue and RBAF were positioned at Sg Mau yesterday, with Muhd Shareeni informing that saloon cars could only access areas which had water levels below 0.25 metres, four-wheel-drive vehicles are limited to below 0.45 metres, while bigger trucks could access roads with water levels up to one metre.

The Brunei Times