Ampang flash flood victims recall nightmare of 2012 incident, ask why nothing has changed

THE flash flood at Kampung Pinggiran 3 and Kampung Lembah Jaya Utara in Ampang, Selangor on Monday (Nov 22) was described by residents as "a nightmare" similar to one that occurred almost a decade ago.

According to the villagers, a flash flood occurred in 2012 with floodwater rising up to as high as 1.8m (6ft) from ground level.

Kampung Pinggiran 3 resident Basri Bunsu, 51, said although the flood this time was not as bad as that, they suffered equally heavy losses.

"The flash flood happened very fast, around 5.30pm (Monday) and before I knew it, I was chest deep in water.

"I tried to save as many of my belongings as I could but the water continued to rise until it was about 1.2m (4ft) high.

"My family and I had to go out to the main road which is on a higher level than my house.

"All our belongings were damaged by the water. We lost a few thousand ringgit," he said, adding that the floodwater subsided quickly, within an hour.

The flash flood affected more than 600 residents from 127 families.

No casualties were reported.

StarMetro visited the site and found that residents had removed all the damaged items and electrical appliances from their homes to be disposed of.

The main road of Jalan Bukit Belacan leading to both villages was covered in mud and the villagers spent the day cleaning their houses.

The Selangor Fire and Rescue Department was at the scene clearing clogged drains and conducting rescue efforts.

Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd Waste Management Sdn Bhd dispatched lorries to dispose of the damaged items from the houses.

Another Kampung Pinggiran 3 resident Mohd Yunus Mat Kasim, 75, said he had to climb to the roof of his house to avoid being swept away.

"A lot of my items were damaged by the floodwater.

"Luckily my bedroom was on a higher level so I could store some items there, but the water even came up to there and damaged the floor.

"We expect the clean-up to last for a month, including some minor renovations and refurbishing, as well as repairing power outlets.

"This flash flood could have been prevented if the state government improved the infrastructure in the area after the 2012 incident," he said.

Ampang Parliamentary coordinator Rodziah Ismail said during a site visit that an investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of flash floods in the area.

"Rainfall in the area yesterday was unusually high.

"I will call for a meeting among the state exco to determine the cause of the flood and whether infrastructure was lacking in the area," she said.

Rodziah, who is also Selangor housing and urban well-being and entrepreneur development committee chairman, said 41 residents from 15 families had been temporarily relocated to a nearby community hall.

"Several community halls in the area are being used as temporary relief shelters but most residents prefer to stay in their own houses.

"The state government has extended food aid to the victims and there will be contributions for the residents," she said.

Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) press relations officer Norhayati Ahmad said council officers had started clean-up efforts at the area since last night.

"MPAJ has prepared three community halls to be used as temporary relief shelters for Ampang residents affected by flash floods," she said.

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