Counting cost of another flash flood

A volunteer cleaning up Our Lady of Fatima Church in Brickfields after Monday’s floods. — MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

RESIDENTS and shop owners in Brickfields were busy cleaning up and tallying their losses after Monday’s floods in the city.

Fashion and accessory shop owner Uthya Kumar Alnyanasilan, 35, urged Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to be proactive in resolving the matter.

“Water from Sungai Klang overflowed and and reached knee-level in my shop.

“I have lost almost all my new stock which cost me about RM30,000.

“This flood is an added burden as my business has yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that he had recently lost his job as an IT trainer.

The floods also caused water to enter the compound of several schools as well as Our Lady of Fatima Church at the end of Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.

Volunteer Santhana Rengan, 54, who was busy cleaning the church, said this was the third incident since December.

“The kneelers (at the pew), which we had just replaced after the December floods, were damaged again.

“The drains are filled with debris and rubbish and need to be cleared frequently,” he said.

Brickfields Rukun Tetangga chairman SKK Naidu said flood pumps should be checked to ensure they are fully functioning to reduce the floods’ severity.

He said DBKL must address surface runoff, especially with so many development projects in the vicinity.

“There are at least five high-density projects being built here.

“Yet the drainage is not upgraded or expanded to accommodate the increased runoff.

“Unless this is looked into, KL will always have flash floods,” he added.

In a media statement, DBKL revealed that 11 areas in Kuala Lumpur were flooded.

“Water receded within an hour. The water pumps were found to be working well,” said the statement.

Among the areas affected were Jalan Travers, Jalan Sultan Abdul Halim, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Semantan, Segambut bypass and Jalan Segambut.

Also inundated were Jalan Kinabalu (Bulatan Merdeka), Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, Sultan Iskandar highway, Bulatan Dato Onn and Jalan Melaka.

Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) Federal Territories director Ummi Kalthum Shuib said clean-up works were ongoing.

“We are clearing debris and drains so that water can drain out effectively.”

She urged the public not to dump rubbish indiscriminately as their actions could be a contributing factor to the floods.

Several Kuala Lumpur MPs also took the authorities to task for the recent floods.

Batu MP P. Prabakaran said DBKL should reveal its flood mitigation plans.

“In February, DBKL announced that it had set up a flood task force and approved a fund of RM25mil.

“This plan was supposed to be presented this month but there has been nothing until now.”

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said a downpour should not lead to flash floods.

He also said that the relevant ministers should explain why flood mitigation projects in the city had not been successful.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh urged the government to provide a cash aid of RM1,000 to flood victims.

“With Hari Raya only a week away, residents’ festival preparations have been affected as their homes were inundated,” she said in a statement.

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