Malaysia: Flash floods in Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur

Vehicles submerged and damaged in JB flash floods
The Star 17 Nov 15;

JOHOR BARU: A two-hour heavy downpour caused massive flash floods in the city here, which resulted in dozens of cars and motorcycles being submerged.

Many of the vehicles belonged to Malaysians working in Singapore, who had parked their vehicles indiscriminately around the city.

The badly-hit areas in the flash floods, which started at about 11.30am yesterday, were Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Jalan Meldrum, Jalan Siu Koon, Jalan Siu Chin, Jalan Siu Nam and Jalan Skudai along Danga Bay. Traffic came to a standstill at all major roads leading into the city.

Some basement carparks in the city centre were also submerged.

There were no deaths or serious injuries reported. The floods receded about two and a half hours later.

Florence Goh, 43, who is a managing director with a software company, said that she and her friend had left a bank carpark when they were trapped in rising waters along Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

“We panicked when the currents pushed my car to the side of the road near the Sungai Segget.

“We were quite terrified,” she said, adding that she could not do anything but abandon her car and run to safety.

Goh’s car had to be towed away later.

Another victim, a businessman who wanted to be known only as Eric, said that the water level rose quickly and many vehicles were trapped in basement carparks.

“The main road along Jalan Wong Ah Fook was like a huge river,” he said, and blamed the development work in the city as the reason for the floods.

He added that this was not the first time the city was hit by flash floods.

Amin Said, who works at a money changer, said his employer has suffered RM20,000 in losses after the outlet was hit by floods twice since opening about a year ago.

“Since the Sungai Segget project started, traders having been facing problems,” he added.

In a statement, Iskandar Regional Development Authority said that the floods were not caused by work on the Sungai Segget Rejuvenation Project.

It said the floods were caused by a combination of two factors – the high tide flows into the Johor Baru City Centre coupled with the heavy flow of rainwater as a result of the prolonged rain over the past few days as well as the downpour earlier yesterday.

Traffic comes to standstill as JB city centre goes 'underwater'
CHUAH BEE KIM New Straits Times 16 Nov 15;

JOHOR BARU: Flash floods brought traffic to a standstill at Jalan Wong Ah Fook and its surrounding areas at noon today.

A total of 20 vehicles were stranded in the major thoroughfare in the city when the area was inundated in 1.5m-deep water following the almost two-hour downpour.

No injuries however were reported.

Johor Baru Selatan police chief Assistant Commissioner Sulaiman Salleh said traffic police helped to divert motorists away from the city centre.

He said all roads heading toward the Johor Baru City Square and the Komtar Johor Baru City Centre (Komtar JBCC) were also closed to traffic at the time.

"The rain was exceptionally heavy from 12pm to 1.30pm. This led to flash floods that inundated the area in 1.5m-deep waters," Sulaiman said.

A Fire and Rescue Services Department spokesman said three people were trapped in their cars, but were later brought to safety.

Firemen also searched a basement car park of a building in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, which was submerged in flood water to check for victims.

The flash flood receded by 2pm.

An office worker at Johor Baru City Square said the water began to rise about noon and she saw police blocking traffic to Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

"Policemen blocked traffic at Jalan Stesen to prevent vehicles from entering Jalan Wong Ah Fook, which was flooded.

"By 2pm, water receded and I could see cars using the road once again," said the worker, who did not want to be named.

The last major flash flood to occur at the same area was on July 31.

Meanwhile, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said an immediate investigation was being conducted to determine the cause of the flash flood.

"Initial investigations confirm that the floods were not caused by work on the Sungai Segget Rejuvenation Project implemented by IRDA," it said in a statement.

"However, the floods were caused by a combination of two factors - the high tide flows into Johor Baru city centre coupled with the heavy flow of rainwater as a result of the prolonged rain over the past few days as well as the heavy downpour earlier today."

It said that the Sungai Segget Rejuvenation Project was aimed at developing a flood mitigation system in order to avoid such floods in the city centre.
It said the Project's Package 2: Development of Flood Mitigation System and Beautification of Jalan Wong Ah Fook involves the installation of new high capacity pumps.

The pumps were scheduled for installation upon the completion of the project in June 2016

"In the meantime, IRDA has taken immediate steps to install suction pumps as a temporary measure to alleviate the problem," it said.

Chaos in Klang Valley
The Star 17 Nov 15;

KUALA LUMPUR: Chaos erupted in major parts of the Klang Valley and in Johor after torrential rains lashed some areas, causing flash floods.

Motorists were caught in a gridlock and stranded for several hours when major roads in Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru were flooded after heavy rains yesterday afternoon.

Dozens of cars were also submerged in water, while the KTM Bhd commuter service was cancelled after the tracks at the Batu Tiga station were submerged for several hours. Commuters had to wade through ankle-deep muddy water.

A landslide occurred near Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur and the Kewajipan roundabout in Subang Jaya.

KL Fire and Rescue Department operations director Azizan Ismail said the landslide occurred around 1.30pm when loose soil on a slope slipped down and damaged a nearby restaurant’s gas line.

“No one was injured in the incident,” he said.

He added that the slope was being monitored for further soil movement.

The landslide near the Kewajipan roundabout in Subang Jaya caused a 4km traffic crawl along the Kesas Expressway from 3pm.

The Star Radio Group’s traffic announcer Priscilla Patrick said the crawl was caused by curious onlookers.

“Another major crawl was in Seksyen 13, Shah Alam, where a flash flood had caused a 5km-long traffic crawl from 4.30pm,” she said.

Several flash floods were reported at Persiaran Surian, Petaling Jaya, Jalan Kinabalu near the National Mosque and Jalan Sultan Salahudin near Bank Negara.

The floods receded several hours later.

The radio station also reported that vehicles at the Shah Alam Interchange were caught in a long crawl from Setia Alam after all highway lanes were flooded.

Flash floods were also reported in Section 13, Section 9, U8 and Batu 3 in Shah Alam, causing a crawl along Persiaran Sukan, Persiaran Hishamuddin and Persiaran Kayangan.

At 5pm, the Shah Alam toll plaza at Bukit Jelutong, which leads to the NKVE highway, had to be closed to traffic due to rising flood waters.

Vehicles were seen cautiously making their way through the flood waters to reach the toll plaza while residents in Bukit Jelutong braced themselves for the possibility of rising waters.

Traffic along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway was also backed up from Bukit Jelutong to the Batu 3 Industrial Park.

The drains in SS14 Subang Jaya could not cope with the incessant downpour, causing an overflow into the streets and nearby petrol stations.

Subang Jaya councillor Ken Chia said he was inundated with messages from concerned residents over the rising water levels.

He posted several pictures on Facebook saying residents were demanding that the Subang Jaya Municipal Council take action.

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Selangor exco member in charge of infrastructure Zaidy Abdul Talib said the cause of the severe floods in Bandar Puncak Alam was due to excess rainfall.

“Accumulated water due to heavy rains in the area could not flow out and the retention ponds were filled with overflowing excess water,” he said in a statement.

According to Zaidy, short-term measures would be carried out including cleaning up all water outflow conduits.

“The long-term measures that will be taken will include deepening of retention ponds to contain more water during heavy rainfall,” he added.

In Johor Baru, several major roads in the city were cut off, with police saying that floodwaters rose as high as 1.5m at some places when the floods occurred after 1.30pm following a downpour.

In Kuching, about 400 villagers of Kampung Peninjau Baru in Bau were trapped for more than two hours when their village was flooded after Sungai Sarawak Kiri overflowed its banks at 2pm.

However, no villagers were evacuated as the floods receded several hours later.

Evacuees return home to be greeted by muddy mess

KLUANG: Villagers who were forced to evacuate their houses at Kampung Paya Palembang due to the floods have returned home to clean up the muddy mess.

They are also trying to salvage other belongings before the skies open up again.

Odd job worker Zainuddin Kamsin, 50, said most of his belongings were destroyed by the floods.

“It happened so fast. I could only take some essential items, clothes and toiletries before rushing to the relief centre. We are back today to clean up the mess and shift items such as furniture, wardrobe, refrigerator and washing machine to higher ground as we anticipate another round of floods,” he said.

Retiree Mazalan Mohd Nordin, 57, said he had to clean up his house despite an operation on his right leg several months ago.

“It is better to clean up now when the water has receded and before the mud hardens,” he said.

Factory operator Ramnah Ahmad, 49, said she did not expect the flood waters to rise so fast after a two-hour downpour.

“Usually, our neighbourhood will be flooded after three days of rain,” she said.

Kluang district officer Mohd Fuad Radzuan said the authorities were monitoring the Machap dam and river level closely.

He said they would assist villagers leave their homes if the rainy spell persisted.

Johor Social Welfare Department deputy director Datuk Daud Arbah said flood victims were provided with enough essential items during their stay at relief centres.

“They are only allowed to return home after getting permission from the local authorities,” he said, adding that they could go back temporarily to retrieve important items.

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