JOHOR BAHRU – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is looking to establish a disaster management and preparedness institute as a referral centre for enforcement agencies dealing with any potential disasters in the country.
UTM’s deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail said the institute, which was currently in the planning stage, would also collaborate with disaster experts from universities in Japan.
“We expect the institute to be established in a month or two. At the earliest, this August. We have already commenced the preparations a few months ago, even before the earthquake in Ranau,” he told Bernama at his office here.
He said the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology in Kuala
Lumpur would lead the initiative, with assistance from UTM academics with expertise in disaster related matters.
“UTM intends to develop this institute to become a national reference centre for natural disasters in the future,” he said.
Ahmad Fauzi said such an institution would be able to gather the best methods of disaster management, particularly with the involvement of disaster experts from Japan.
“Besides (conducting) studies, we will look at how to manage disasters, especially looking at the importance of ‘consolidated action’ for the agencies involved when a disaster occurs.
“This institution will also study any disaster that occurs. With this kind of institution, the country will be better prepared to face any possible disasters,” said Ahmad Fauzi.
At present, he said UTM had about 15 academics who were experts in their various fields pertaining to natural disasters. – BERNAMA