Updated: Selangor was not ready for the abnormally high rainfall – MB

17 lives were reported to have lost in the recent floods that swept the Selangor state. There are 30,632 individuals in 203 temporary flood relief centres in the state currently. More victims are expected as some areas are still in flood waters.

SHAH ALAM, Dec 21 – The rainfall that hit Selangor areas on December 16, 17 and 18 was abnormal and well above the anticipated rainfall, and the state did not have the capacity to handle that amount of rain water which caused the recent floods in Klang, Shah Alam and other Selangor areas, said Menteri Besar of Selangor Amirudin Shari today.

He said the state’s normal capacity was to handle rainfall of 40 to 100 mm but the one-day rainfall from Dec 16 to 17 amounted to 400mm, which was like a month’s worth of rainwater.

Speaking at a press conference here today on the Selangor’s government’s efforts to handle the flood situation, he said the state had taken various measures and had set all its machinery to handle potential flood following the heavy rain that started on Dec 16.

However, by Saturday when the rainfall took on an abnormal level, Shari said he made urgent calls to both the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Saturday to seek help from the Federal government.

While the state had moved its machinery to handle the anticipated flood, it did not have the capacity to handle the record-breaking flood waters, and hence it sought the help of the Federal Government to get all the help it could from the army, civil defence force, and police.

The MB also said the bodies of 17 people had been recovered in the state in the aftermath of the flood. However, the police would have to confirm the cause of each victim’s death.

During the Search and Rescue operations, a total of 453 assets and machineries from the various state bodies and agencies as well as the Federal Government including the Civil Defence Force, police, fire department, the armed forces as well as the welfare department and RELA were deployed.

The MB also thanked the volunteers who had gone all out to help during the rescue operations and also providing the victims with essential items and food.

The priority now is to save lives, give the victims aid and clean up the affected areas so that the victims can start the process of recovery.

Then the focus will be on the assessment of infrastructure damages, recovery and the improvement of these assets including upgrading the flood systems especially in high risk areas, he said adding that the state council meeting members will play a central role in the coordination of youth groups, volunteers, welfare, cleaning, infrastructure rebuilding and health, Shari said.

An allocation of RM100 million has been set aside to help each of the locality that has been affected, he said.

The MB also announced various forms of assistance to help individuals, businesses and families to recover from the disaster. These include cash assistance of RM1,000 to each family affected by the flood and RM10,000 to families who had lost a loved one in the tragedy.

— WE