Tutong on standby for flash floods

James Kon

The Public Works Department (JKR) has taken the initiative of clearing river channels, drainage and roads, while the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah (PMMPMHAB) Hospital is on standby to provide assistance to senior citizens, pregnant mothers and mental health patients in flood-prone areas, said Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrin bin Haji Mohammad Hussain.

The Tutong District Officer was speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Tutong District Disaster Management Committee (Tutong DDMC), during a meeting of the Tutong DDMC held yesterday at the Lamunin Fire Station, to address the issue of flash floods during the rainy season of December-January.

The meeting was also attended by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), the Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (EMAS), the JKR, the Tutong Municipal Board, and the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD).

Detailing their measures to handle flooding and landslides, Shamsul Bahrin said, “The Tutong District Office visited several villages and roads, including interior areas such as Jalan Benutan, Jalan Keranching, Jalan Bangkuru, Jalan Kuala Ungar Rambai, Jalan Panchong-Kuala Ungar and Jalan Rambai on September 26 and October 28.”

“Our department has also improved its inventory and equipment status, as well as assets from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), while boat engines and other equipment have also been tested and will continue to be tested every three months. Our department also carried out checks at temporary shelter centres.

Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrin bin Haji Mohammad Hussain with police and army personnel walk in flood waters during an inspection. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“The Second Battalion and Support Battalion of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the Fire and Rescue Department of Tutong are always in communication, and carry out patrols in the event of heavy showers.

“The Tutong branch of the Community Development Department (JAPEM) is also prepared to provide aid in the form of daily necessities at anytime, if required.

“The latest weather information is always shared among mukim penghulus, village heads and acting village heads, as a preparation for any flooding incidents. Our department is in constant communication with them through WhatsApp groups.”

Earlier, the Tutong District Officer said, “Preparations for the rainy weather started since mid-September 2019. Meetings with members of the Tutong District Disaster Management Committee were held on October 3 and 29 to make sure all the members are aware of the current weather and are prepared to assist.”

Regarding the flash floods which hit Kampong Sengkarai, Kampong Panchor and Kampong Penanjong on November 29, he said, “Fortunately, the floods didn’t affect the daily lives of the villagers, because the water levels gradually receded and returned to normal.”

Following the meeting, the Tutong District Officer led the Tutong DDMC on an inspection of the affected areas in Jalan Keranching and Jalan Bangkuru.