SELANGAU: TYPHOONS, evacuating victims at night and encounters with crocodiles and venomous snakes were few of the challenges faced by rescue workers during flood relief efforts here last week.
Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department’s head of Zone 4, Misran Bisara, said one of the riskiest operations was rescuing seven Nanga Tamin Rural Clinic staff after the area near the clinic was flooded on Feb 5.
“We quickly moved to the location at 5pm after receiving an emergency call. The strong current and path to the clinic made the mission even more complicated.
“Fortunately, all the staff were safe after it took us 10 hours to complete our mission. We didn’t wait another day because the situation could have worsened, especially with the threat of rising water levels in the area,” he said.
Misran said the distance between one longhouse and another was also a tough experience, especially longhouses located in the interior.
“Coordination and cooperation with related agencies was impor tant in completing the missions as the Fire Department alone could not have transferred more than 1,000 residents to the relief centre,” he said.
Sarawak Fire and Rescue Zone 4 deployed 20 members and three senior officers along with a lorry, three four-wheel drive vehicles and two boats to rescue the flood victims.
Misran said there were also cases of longhouse residents being stranded after the routes were either flooded or buried by landslides.
He also led a 10-member team to deliver food supplies to residents of Sawong Baling Long House in Upper Wong River.
“We assisted the Social Welfare Department (JKM) to distribute food, rice, sugar, oil, instant noodles and drinking water to 280 local residents, said Misran.