MBSJ: Early flood warning system to be expanded

Volunteers helping flood victims at Kampung Bukit Lanchong. MBSJ says its Pantas squad was among the early responders mobilised to the area on Dec 18 morning to relocate flood victims.— Filepic

THE Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) plans to extend its early warning system for floods, which has been successfully tested in four locations, to several other hotspots under its jurisdiction this year.

Its Corporate and Strategic Management Department deputy director Azfarizal Abdul Rashid said the city council tested an early warning system for high water levels between 2020 and 2021 at four flood-prone areas.

The locations are USJ 8, USJ 13, Puchong Jaya (in front of IOI Mall Puchong) and Taman Paik Siong, Puchong.

“It has successfully served as an early warning system in the event of an increase in water level at the four locations. MBSJ already has plans to expand the system to several other flood hotspots this year.

“In addition, the federal Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) has a telemetry system to record the water level data of rivers, including Sungai Klang, on the Public InfoBanjir website publicinfobanjir.water.gov.my.

“The portal serves as a guide and disseminates information to the public on flood-prone areas in Malaysia and the areas’ current status,” he added in a statement.

MBSJ was responding to a suggestion by Puchong MCA that the Selangor government and local council implement or reintroduce an early warning system to alert residents staying in the interior areas of Puchong of an impending flood to allow them to evacuate to higher ground. Several areas in Puchong were badly hit by the floods last month.

StarMetro report on Jan 4.StarMetro report on Jan 4.

Puchong MCA had also questioned the lack of presence or assistance by MBSJ’s Pantas squad to evacuate stranded residents, despite having the squad on standby for disasters.

To this, Azfarizal said unusually high rainfall and high tide phenomenon resulted in massive floods that hit several areas under MBSJ’s administration simultaneously.

“Areas such as Kampung Sri Aman, Taman Kinrara, Kampung Bukit Lanchong, Kampung Tengah A and B, Kampung Kuala Sungai Baru, Kampung Kenangan, Kampung Batu 13, Kampung Bersatu, Kampung Seri Andalas, Kampung Seri Puchong and Kampung Seri Langkas were also deluged by floodwaters,” he said.

Defending MBSJ’s Pantas squad, Azfarizal clarified that it was among the early responders mobilised to Bukit Lanchong on Dec 18 morning to relocate flood-affected residents of Lorong Ikan Haruan and Lorong PPRT to a temporary relief centre (PPS) at Dewan Serbaguna MBSJ Bukit Lanchong.

“However, when floodwaters started rising and inundated the entire village, it became a larger-scale effort to relocate those sheltering at Dewan Serbaguna MBSJ Bukit Lanchong plus the entire neighbourhood to two PPS in Putra Heights.”

Azfarizal said MBSJ had to coordinate with other safety and rescue agencies when the floods struck more than 10 traditional villages around Bukit Lanchong in Puchong.

The other agencies included the fire and rescue departments from Subang Jaya, Puchong, Sri Kembangan and Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Serdang district police headquarters, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart Team), Malaysian Armed Forces and the Civil Defence Force.

“Individual volunteers and NGOs also joined in flood rescue and relief efforts, which continued until Dec 19 night. At this point, some of Pantas squad members and rescue workers have been working 36 hours non-stop,” he added.

In addition to rescuing and relocating flood victims to PPS, Azfarizal said MBSJ’s Pantas squad was kept busy working with MBSJ’s Landscape Department officers to fell and remove trees blocking roads or had crashed onto houses during the rain.

“The massive floods that hit areas under MBSJ’s administration have served as a good experience and lesson for us to update our inventory of emergency aid equipment and improve MBSJ’s action plan on emergency and disaster management,” he said.

On another matter, Azfarizal said MBSJ would begin repairs to the damaged drainage in Kampung Sri Aman after post-flood clean-up works are completed in the Puchong neighbourhood.

Kampung Sri Aman was one of the areas in Selangor that were badly hit by the floods last December.

“The Selangor DID has already completed upgrades to the drainage system at several streets in Kampung Sri Aman (before the flood). They are: Jalan Bestari, Lorong Bestari 1, Lorong Bestari 2, Lorong Bestari 3 and Lorong Bestari 6.

“MBSJ is in the process of planning the upgrade of Jalan Berkat 4’s drainage system,” he added.

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