Malaysia: Kuala Selangor declares Level 1 disaster for flood-hit areas

MAZLINDA MAHMOOD New Straits Times 18 Nov 15;

SHAH ALAM: A ‘Level 1 disaster’ has been declared in flood-affected areas in Kuala Selangor today.

The declaration was made by Kuala Selangor district officer Shamsul Shahril Badliza Mohd Noor.

Shamsul, in a statement, said the National Security Council’s directive number 20 is now in force and the Flood Operation Control Centre will be opened at Kampung Parit Mahang’s relocation centre.

In Kuala Selangor, two relocation centres have been opened in Kampung Parit Mahang and Bukit Kerayong.

The relocation centre in Kampung Parit Mahang currently houses 106 victims from 31 families including three infants and seven senior citizens.

The Bukit Kerayong relocation centre now houses 59 victims from 13 families.

Intermittent rain has been reported in Kuala Selangor and the water level is reported to be between 0.5m to a metre high in certain areas.

"High intensity rain" identified as cause of Sgor flash flood
MAZLINDA MAHMOOD New Straits Times 18 Nov 15;

SHAH ALAM: “High intensity rain” has been identified as the main cause of the flash floods in Shah Alam and surrounding areas.

Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) director Hashim Osman said the department's rain stations in Selangor recorded unusually high rainfall due to the high intensity rain on Monday.

"The Batu 3 station recorded a rainfall of 104mm in two hours while the TTDI Jaya station recorded a rainfall of 104mm in three hours," he said in a statement today.

Hashim said DID is always prepared for flash floods during monsoon transition and it had ensured that all rainfall stations, flood warning systems and flood monitoring cameras were in working order.

"DID has also identified and upgraded 74 water retention ponds throughout Selangor, ensured all pump stations and watergates are working and maintained the drainage system," he said.

Commenting on claims by Bandar Puncak Alam residents that the flash flood which hit the area on Sunday and lasted for two days was caused by poor maintenance of the outlet system for the retention pond there, he said the department had identified the problem when flash flood hit the city in August this year.

"DID has identified a 20 acre (8.09ha) water retention pond which needs to be upgraded to mitigate flood. Work on it started in October and the RM2.8 million project is expected to be complete by June next year," he said.

Today, a Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson said almost 400 flood victims were relocated to seven relief centres throughout the state.

On Monday, the flash flood in Batu 3 caused a temporary disruption to the commuter service at the Batu 3 station as the rail line was submerged and several lanes at the Shah Alam toll plaza near TTDI Jaya had to be closed because of the same reason.

Other parts of Shah Alam including in Section 9, Section 13, Section 20, Section U8 and Batu 3, were also affected as many roads were impassable to light vehicles.

On Sunday night, some 150 people from Phase 2B3 Taman Sinar Alam in Bandar Puncak Alam had to be relocated to Surau Taufiqiyah which was turned into a temporary relief centre but they have returned home on Monday.

The struggle to end flood woes
The Star 19 Nov 15;

KOTA BARU: The local governments of several states are trying their best to cope with floods, saying it is not an easy task.

The Kelantan government, for example, said its local authorities were facing financial problems to upgrade drainage and flood control measures in urban areas because they could not generate enough income to end flooding problems.

About 70% of dwellings here are not equipped with good drainage system.

“We need billions of ringgit to build an effective sewerage system and we do not have the capacity,” state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Fatah Mahmood told reporters after attending the state exco meeting here yesterday.

He added that the government had instructed local governments to ensure that new housing estates built proper drainage systems to minimise the impact of floods.

Recently, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said local councils had not provided technical assistance nor supervised construction projects, which contributed to flash floods.

In Kuantan, the president of Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) Datuk Zulkifli Yaacob said the council had always been strict with town planning to prevent floods.

He added that MPK would use hazard mapping to identify which areas were vulnerable to natural disasters when approving construction projects.

“That includes the drainage system as well. We do all this as a prevention measure for floods.

“In fact, our conditions are very strict. We now require developers to put in drains of 1,200mm depth when previously the minimum requirement was 800mm,” said Zulkifli yesterday.

In Johor Baru, Urban Wellbeing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the unpredictable weather caused by climate change had forced the Government to relook into the nationwide drainage system.

“The drainage system that we currently have is about 3m to 6m-wide which I do not think is able to sustain the amount of rainfall,” he said after attending a briefing on the recent flash floods at Johor Baru City Council building yesterday.