Hot weather: Govt ready to declare emergency - Zahid

16 May 2023 01:43pm
Photo for illustrative purposes. - FILEPIC
Photo for illustrative purposes. - FILEPIC

PUTRAJAYA - The government is ready to declare a state of emergency following the hot weather in the country, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

However, it has not been decided as of yet, he added.

"We are monitoring the situation 24 hours a day, and if there's an emergency, an announcement would be made.

"There are no plans to announce it yet," he said after chairing the Central Disaster Management Committee (JPBP) meeting at the Perdana Putra building here on Tuesday.

He said National Security Council (NSC) Directive No. 20, which was issued to provide guidelines on the management of disasters, will be applied in the case of continued extreme heat.

"Currently, the government is taking proactive measures and no longer taking cautious (measures) to overcome the hot weather," he said.

Zahid said among the protective measures taken were the collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) to carry out cloud seeding at seven dams.

The areas involved were the Muda River, Kedah River, Melaka River, Kelantan River, Klang River, Bernam River, and Similajau River.

"I will go to the Muda River and Kedah River to see the situation for myself and take immediate actions in the form of cloud seeding today," he said.

The JPBP chairman said the National Water Service Commission (Span) has been instructed to prepare water for domestic distribution, particularly drinking water.

"This matter must be discussed with water companies and local authorities," he said.

He said the committee has identified 406 main locations that are at risk of open burning in peat soil areas.

"A total of 616 monitoring operations are carried out in areas, especially farms, forests, plantations, and dumping grounds," he said.

Zahid said there are 101 tube wells at peat areas as additional water sources in fire extinguishing operations.

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