Exercise caution during uncertain weather: FRD

Azlan Othman

Statistics from the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) show that 102 emergency calls were made from January 1 to 19 this year, pertaining to uprooted trees (64), landslides (27) and excess water (11).

Seventy-three of the calls were made in the Brunei-Muara District, 18 in the Tutong District, nine in the Belait District and two in the Temburong District.

Brunei Darussalam is experiencing the Northeast monsoon, where the weather is unpredictable with bouts of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Those living near hilly areas are advised to be on alert for signs of soil erosion, and to evacuate immediately if the situation becomes life-threatening.

During windy weather, the public is reminded to remain indoors to avoid encounters with falling trees and loose objects while driving. Cars should not be parked near utility poles, trees or tall objects.

Those residing in lowland areas, near bodies of water and in flood-prone regions, are urged to monitor tide levels and to be on the alert when faced with a flood.

During a flood, possessions and important documents should be stored at a higher level.

Children should be closely monitored to prevent them from playing close to large drains or lamp posts.

Members of the public are also urged to refrain from carrying out outdoor activities or going out during heavy thunderstorms. If caught in an open area during a storm, it is advisable to stay away from tall trees and steel structures.

The public is also advised not to swim in the rough seas and strong currents. Children should not swim unsupervised. Swimmers should know their limits by not venturing into the water alone or if feeling unwell, and swimming too far from the shore.

They should also make sure to have a life buoy or wear a life jacket before saving a distressed swimmer.

Hikers are advised not to take the trail during dark or rainy weather.

They should avoid unfamiliar routes and venturing deep into the jungle. When hiking, it is advisable to bring water, a whistle and a mobile phone. Hikers should be in good health and inform family members and friends of their whereabouts.