KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The flood disaster and headwater surge that hit the Baling district in Kedah last Monday (July 4) galvanised the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and other security agencies and volunteers to synchronise their emergency response in channelling aid to the victims.
NADMA director-general Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim said a total of 205 personnel from the police force, Fire and Rescue Department, Volunteer Department, Social Welfare Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, fire volunteers and mountain guides had been mobilised to help the victims.
He said apart from the assistance announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday, post-flood clean-up work had been carried out in collaboration with government departments as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“The Baling District Office also received equipment from various local authorities from outside Baling to assist in cleaning operations such as garbage trucks and bulldozers,” he told Bernama today.
Aminuddin said members of the security forces such as from the 9th Brigade and the General Operations Force (GOF), as well as Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), and volunteer teams from Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and various NGOs also pooled in to help clean the affected premises.
Kedah APM director Lt Col Awang Askandar said 140 personnel had been deployed to the scene after receiving reports of headwaters causing flash floods in Kampung Iboi in Baling.
“A total of 55 APM members were involved in the search and rescue (SAR) operation for three missing victims who were later found dead,” he said.
For the post-flood operation, Awang said APM members at the location would collect information and reports from flood victims and provide appropriate assistance.
“Among the assistance needed were basic necessities such as dry food, diapers, infant milk as well as lorries carrying water supply and cleaning equipment (water pump),” he said.
Meanwhile, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) also went to the ground by sending 50 volunteers in a flood relief mission in Baling led by its managing director Shamir Aziz who brought household necessities worth RM50,000 using two one-tonne lorries.
According to a statement from AIM, in addition to essential items such as gas canisters, stoves, kettles, prayer mats and clothing, the mission will also supply two units of heavy machinery to remove fallen trees, log debris and stalled vehicles and clean the homes of Sahabat (loan borrowers of AIM).
“AIM will give a targeted moratorium of six months to Sahabat (loan borrowers of AIM) affected by the floods. They only need to apply at their respective branches,” according to the statement.
According to the statement, the flood in Iboi, Jerai and Kubang affected 15 Sahabat AIM (AIM traders).
The flash floods triggered by a surge of headwaters following a downpour that occurred at about 4pm on Monday in Baling caused three deaths, while hundreds of residents were evacuated to relief centres with more than 80 houses damaged.