KUALA LUMPUR: Several areas in and around the city were hit by flash floods with Dataran Merdeka being the worst-hit area during a three-hour downpour last night.
Two people were admitted to the hospital after they were pinned down by a fallen tree.
At the height of the downpour, many low-lying areas were submerged in water – between one and two metres. Traffic came to a standstill in the city.
A City Hall operations centre spokesman said the areas badly affected were those along Jalan Raja, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Melaka, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Petaling Street, Jalan Munsyi Abdullah, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Taman Hillview, Setapak, Segambut and Sentul Pasar Dalam.
Areas along Jalan Travers, Jalan Bangsar, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Jalan Semantan and Jalan Tun Razak were also affected.
Several hotel basement car parks were flooded.
Vehicles parked at the Dataran Merdeka basement car park were submerged in floodwaters which reached up to its ceiling after the nearby Sungai Gombak overflowed its banks.
At one point, Dataran Merdeka looked like a padi field while Jalan Raja, which runs between Dataran Merdeka and the Sultan Abdul Samad building, was submerged in one-metre deep floodwaters.
There was bumper-to-bumper traffic along Lebuhraya Mahameru near the exit to Jalan Parlimen and near Bukit Tunku, Jalan Tun Razak near Bulatan Kg Pandan and Jalan Loke Yew.
A woman and her two children were pinned under a tree after it fell on them at the St Mary's Anglican Cathedral near Dataran Merdeka.
Kamala Devi, 46, had a broken right leg and injuries to the neck. Her daughter S. Thanaletchumy, 20, had bruises on the body while her son S. Thanaraj, six, escaped unhurt.
Speaking to reporters later, her husband, Royal Selangor Club chief security officer L. Selvarajah, 48, said his family was waiting near their car while he went to assess the flood situation.
City Hall and Fire and Rescue Department officials got the three out within 30 minutes. Two cars were also damaged when part of the tree landed on them.
DBKL officer Mohd Noor Razali, met at Dataran Merdeka, said waters began to rise at 6pm.
City Traffic chief Asst Comm Hamza Taib said no major accidents were reported during the downpour, adding that all manpower had been deployed to help out the DBKL officers to man traffic in the affected areas.
An affected motorist Johari Alias, 44, said that his car was damaged after it was submerged in waters reaching up to the vehicle's windows.
“I had parked my car behind the courts and was at the Central Market. When I noticed the Sungai Gombak overflowing its banks, I rushed to my car but it was too late,'' said the artist.
Floods have hit the Dataran Merdeka car park several times over the years.
In 2002 and 2003, similar floods due to heavy rain and overflowing of the Sungai Gombak nearby had left the vehicles of many motorists damaged after the car park was submerged in floodwaters right till the ceiling.