BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Another storm is forecast to hit Brunei sometime this week, officials at the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) said yesterday, citing data from the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department.
In a press conference yesterday, NDMC officials said the meteorological department is informing the public that during the southwest monsoon, the formation of a tropical storm or typhoon is active in the west of the Pacific Ocean.
Usually, it will pass through the Philippines and the South China Sea, bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds, they said.
The NDMC will inform the public 24 hours before the storm passes through.
Currently, they are unable to forecast exactly when the storm will come and the wind speed.
"Hopefully with our prayers, awareness and readiness, we will be able to handle this,'' said Dr Hj Abd Manaf Hj Metussin, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Our operation rooms are running, such as the Incident Command Posts at Sungai Kebun. Every district has its District Emergency Operation Centre (DEOC) to handle any report or incidents occurring. So we are prepared at every level and every district. At the same time, the NDMC is working 24/7 and are on standby,'' he told reporters.
Another Incident Command Post has been set up in Kampong Ayer, following last week's storm, and it is still active.
"We will not be shutting it down until the situation improves,'' he said.
The DEOC at all districts are chaired by the respective district officers, and represented by various government agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department, the Community Development (JAPEM) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), among others.
Dr Manaf said they are all on standby and will be able to respond quickly to help and assist any individuals needing help.
"This is how we are prepared. The NDMC is working round-the-clock to provide an early warning system to the districts' management and the public,'' he said.
Dr Manaf said they are also working closely with JAPEM, noting they have already opened up four relief centres.
He said the public should take precaution because they cannot determine how strong the winds brought by the upcoming storm will be.
"So that is why we must be prepared and that our agencies are ready so we will be able to take actions required,'' he said.
Meanwhile, Director of the Fire and Rescue Department Yahya Hj Abd Rahman encouraged the public to adhere to self-advisories such as staying indoors and preparing for disasters.
In addressing the public, the director sought patience from those calling in for assistance.
Naturally, he said their phone lines will be very busy as it was during the last storm.