JOHOR BARU: All 16 local councils in Johor are ready to face any natural disaster including floods following the erratic weather due to the northeast monsoon.

State housing and local government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor noted that heavy rainfalls are expected towards the end of the year.

“We have instructed all local councils to identify flood-prone areas under their jurisdiction.

“They have submitted their reports that help with the necessary preparations for the flood season.

“We have also identified several short- and long-term solutions in addressing floods, which hit parts of Johor by year-end due to the monsoon season,” he said.

Mohd Jafni said most floods happen in low-lying areas and checks showed that drainage systems need to be replaced as they could no longer hold high volumes of water.

He said any repair and upgrading work would require a huge financial allocation and as such, local councils had been told to constantly clean drains and reservoirs.

“The heavy downpour that resulted in frequent flash floods lately have prompted proactive measures.“They include setting up action squads within local councils to take immediate steps during incidents of flash floods or uprooted trees.

“It will take the local councils less than 24 hours to clean up affected areas and set up a relief centre to evacuate victims,” he added.

Mohd Jafni also said cooperation between the local councils and various agencies such as the Irrigation and Drainage Department, Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Force should be maintained and strengthened.

He said this would ensure better coordination among agencies especially when assisting those affected by any natural disaster.

Mohd Jafni urged the public, especially those living in flood-prone areas, to constantly check weather reports from the Malaysian Meteorological Department.