THE Selangor government and local councils are urged to implement an early warning system immediately in the interior areas of Puchong, where residents were hit hard by floods last month.
Puchong MCA New Media Bureau head Soon Mon Huay said there used to be an officer in charge who would alert the villagers of an impending flood and help them evacuate to safer ground.
“This system no longer exists. As such, we strongly urge the state government to reinstate a proper early warning system to evacuate villagers and lead them to safety,” he said after visiting residents at Kampung Seri Aman, Puchong.
The village, which consists of some 3,000 households, was badly affected by the flood on Dec 18.
Soon said the drainage system was in dire need of an upgrade, and said this could have contributed to the flood.
He urged the Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) to urgently look into the matter.
The other two villages in the area that were badly flooded were Kampung Kenangan and Kampung Tengah.
“Kampung Seri Aman mostly consists of single-storey houses, and the distance from these houses to the main road of Jalan Berkat is about 3km.
“During a flood like the one on Dec 18, it would be impossible for them to evacuate to a safe place without help,” Soon said, adding that the lake at Taman Tasik Seri Aman had overflowed, so much so that the villagers could not differentiate between the drains and the roads.
“We want the state government to immediately upgrade the drainage system for the villagers’ safety.
“This village is underdeveloped while the surrounding areas have seen rapid development, which could have caused the flood,” he said.
Soon questioned MBSJ’s Special Action Squad (Pantas), which in October last year announced that it had enhanced its logistics capabilities and manpower to respond to flash floods.
In fact, he pointed out that an earlier report in StarMetro said that MBSJ had prepared enough assets and manpower tackle floods which were expected in 19 vulnerable areas.
“The Kampung Seri Aman villagers said they did not get help from the local council’s action squad when they needed to evacuate,” Soon added.
Mamat Long, a 71-year-old villager who was neck-deep in floodwater during the early hours of Dec 19, recounted how an NGO came to his rescue with a four-wheel-drive vehicle to move him and his family to the Kampung Seri Aman mosque opposite his house.
His daughter-in-law Nor Atikah Sukiman, 33, said the two-storey mosque provided shelter and food to flood victims during that period.
“Later that Sunday, the fire department rescue boat moved us to the flood transit centre at Dewan Puchong Intan.
“MBSJ officials were at the transit centre to help move us to the shelters later that day and we also received aid from NGOs.
“It had never flooded like this before and my father in-law has lived here since the 1980s.
“It was a terrible experience because we were all almost underwater,” she said.