KUALA LUMPUR: Flash floods hit several parts of the city and caused a 10-vehicle pile-up at Sungai Buloh, following a four-hour downpour just before the evening homeward crawl yesterday.
Traffic jams stretched for kilometres along several roads, with Sungai Buloh and Kampung Segambut Bahagia being among the worst-affected areas.
The situation was worsened by the fact that the rain started at around 3.30pm, just before the rush hour home.
It was chaotic at a stretch of the Sungai Buloh road, when cars and other vehicles skidded and piled on top of each other.
In Kampung Segambut Bahagia, residents found their homes flooded in knee-high water.
Resident Lailaton Hashim claimed the residential area was flood-prone because of a construction site behind it.
Near the Kampung Baru flats in Jalan Tun Razak, Bernama reported that two boys were trapped in a tunnel by rising water.
Mohd Alif Ali, 17, and Mohd Noor Harun, 16, who went fishing in Sungai Klang at 4pm, sought shelter in the tunnel when it started raining but the water level rose quickly, trapping the two boys from Taman Datuk Keramat inside.
JPA3 Operations Chief Second Lt Shahrul Kamar Mohd Johari said the department received a distress call at 5.45pm and despatched 12 personnel to the scene, adding: “We had to hoist them up with a rope because of the strong currents.”
In Sungai Petani, Kedah, about 200 houses from five areas, including from three villages, were partially damaged in a 30-minute afternoon freak storm. No casualties were reported in the 3.30pm incident.
The affected areas were Kampung Sungai Layar, Kampung Sungai Jagung, Taman Seroja, Taman Sri Tanjung and Kampung Sungai Che Bema.
Houseowner Fazli Hashim, 38, from Kampung Sungai Layar said he, his wife and their four children were sitting in the hall at about 3.30pm when they heard a loud noise from the rooftop of their home.
“My rooftop was blown apart by strong winds within seconds. We, however, managed to rush out in time and no one was injured,” he said.
Widow Che Yam Chik, 56, said she panicked when she heard loud noises on her rooftop.
“I carried my 85-year-old mother-in-law and rushed my three grandchildren to one corner of the house to safety,” she said, adding that the whole roof of their house was blown off.
“I do not know where to stay now,” she said.
Imam Ahmad Othman, 85, from Kampung Sungai Che Bema, said he was sitting in front of his house when he saw the surau opposite being lashed by strong winds and damaged completely within minutes.
Tanjung Dawai state assemblyman Datuk Arzmi Abdul Hamid, who visited the affected areas, said the affected families would be temporarily placed in nearby community halls and schools.
“Some of the rooftops have been ripped off while other houses were partially damaged. We have yet to gauge the extent of the damage but will do the necessary once everything has been assessed,” he said.