A total of 2,580 machinery assets of the Ministry of Public Works (KKR) and its agencies, the Public Works Department (JKR) and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) have been put on alert to face the impact of the transition from Southwest Monsoon to Northeast Monsoon (MTL) phase.

Public Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the assets include four-wheel drive vehicles, excavators, three and five tonne lorries and earthmovers are ready to be mobilised for various relief missions.

"KKR and its agencies have been prepared to ensure that the people's communication network is not affected, for better safety of users. This is in line with the instructions of the National Security Council (MKN) 20, where JKR is responsible for providing vehicles and manpower for disaster site maintenance and transport logistics.

"JKR also plays a role in providing temporary shelters such as canopies or tents, technical services and expertise in the fields of forensic engineering, geotechnics, structures and others in landslides and structural failure of buildings or land as well as assessing public infrastructure damage due to disasters," he said in a statement today.

Alexander said the JKR Slope Engineering Branch will also check and ensure the slope drainage system is in good condition and identify early signs of slope failure along the federal and state road alignment.

He said the slopes identified as high and very high risk will be given attention during patrols and inspections.

He said as many as 35 rain gauge stations on critical slopes along the federal roads of Peninsular Malaysia covering Pahang, Kelantan, Kedah, Perak and Selangor have also been maintained and functioning.

Besides, he said the current warning will be displayed on the JKR Slope Early Warning System website where a warning through a short message system will be received when the rainfall rate exceeds the threshold value as an early warning of landslides.

"While for Sabah and Sarawak, a total of 12 rain gauge stations are in the application for approval of allocation by the Ministry of Finance," he said.

According to him, KKR is also ready to move Bailey bridge as an alternative route to connect areas cut off by floods.

"JKR will also activate standard operating procedures (SOP) for roads affected by disasters by implementing road closures,” he said.

Information on the status of road disaster incidents can be obtained from the JKR disaster portal at the address: www.bencanaalam.jkr.gov.my and through the twitter page @JKRMalaysia, @CSFJ_JKR and Facebook Department of Public Works Malaysia and can contact the Hotline of the Disaster Operations Room (BiGBen) at 03-26107559/7727.

Users can also channel any information about road damage due to MTL through the MyJalan application which can be obtained for free by downloading from the various app sites.

The Department of Meteorology Malaysia expects the country to be in the final phase of the Southwest Monsoon in September 2023 and is expected to enter the MTL phase in November 2023 until February 2024.

Among the impacts of this monsoon shift is an increase of 20 to 40 per cent of the long-term average rainfall.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency