Sleepless in Sungai Buloh every time it pours

SUNGAI BULOH: Each time heavy rain occurs at his neighbourhood here, Zakaria Sirat starts to get anxious.

The retiree, who lives next to the Sungai Buloh river at Taman Saujana Aman, has experienced many sleepless nights worrying about floods.

“On Tuesday night at around 9pm, the waters began to rise and residents here started moving our vehicles and personal belongings.

“This time the water level was ankle-deep but in 2021 the floods were about 1.5m deep,” said the 73-year-old man, who has been living in Taman Saujana Aman since 2020.

ALSO READ: INTERACTIVE: Which district has suffered the most losses from floods?

Zakaria said when waters began to rise on Tuesday, he and his wife began moving their electronic items and personal belongings upstairs.

“We did not want to take any chances. The floods that occurred in 2021 caused us losses in the thousands of ringgit.

“I lost many electric tools and other equipment then,” he said, adding that he only managed to sleep at around 5am yesterday as he was watching the water level of the river closely.

Zakaria was one of the fortunate ones who was not evacuated this time around.

Meanwhile, Shahril Anwar, 41, and his wife Anita Juwida Junaidi, 40, said they were forced to evacuate from their house at Kampung Merbau Indah Tambahan on Tuesday evening.

“I was out with a friend when my husband called me and told me about the flood.

“I thought he was just playing a prank on me to get me to come back home, but then he sent me a picture from his mobile phone and it shocked me,” she said when met at the Desa Coalfields Hall which was turned into a temporary relief centre yesterday.

Shahril said at first things seemed to be under control but around 4pm, the waters began to rise quickly.

“We had to wade through floodwaters which were at thigh level.

“It is not the first time our house has been affected by floods so we managed to move our belongings upstairs.

“We did not have enough time to move our clothes though,” he said, adding that they would wait for the situation to improve before going home.

Anita Juwida said several years ago, they were evacuated from their house, and when the floods subsided they went home only to be evacuated again as the water level rose again.

“My family has lived in this house for nearly 45 years. We cannot just move,” she said.

Both Zakaria and Shahril urged the authorities to look into the flooding issue seriously.

Zakaria said unplanned raising of the land around the riverbank was causing the floods to occur more frequently.

“The water has nowhere else to go which is why everyone living in low-lying areas is at risk now,” he said.

Shahril and Anita also called for work to deepen the Sungai Buloh river.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department Assistant Director of Operations Ahmad Mukhlis Mokhtar said two temporary relief centres were opened at Sekolah Merbau Sempak and Dewan MPKS, Desa Coalfields.

“We have evacuated 88 families consisting of 372 people.

“The evacuation involved areas such as Jalan Jati, Kampung Melayu Subang, Jalan Gajah 1, Jalan Gajah 5,Jalan Gajah 6, Jalan Gajah 16, Jalan Gajah 20, Jalan Gajah 23, Jalan Gajah 24, Kampung Sri Aman and Taman Saujana Aman,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He said Bukit Jelutong, Rawang, Sungai Buloh and Bestari Jaya fire stations are currently involved in flood operations comprising 40 personnel, three boats, four utility trucks and four fire engines.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department had posted a thunderstorm warning on its official Facebook page at 6.10am on Tuesday.

It added that thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds were to be expected in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Sarawak.

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