‘Selangor prepared for floods since November but extraordinary rainfall caught us by surprise’

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari dismissed claims that the state government was ill-prepared for last weekend’s floods, saying the state had been ready from as early as November.

However, he said preparations, led by district officers under the state disaster management unit, were “overwhelmed” by the “extraordinary” rainfall.

“We saw rainfall usually recorded within a month, happening in one day,” said Amirudin.

The showers in the Klang Valley that started on Friday, and continued until the early hours of Sunday morning, had dumped rainwater equal to the average rainfall for an entire month – something that only happens once, every 100 years.

Detailing the chronology of events that transpired on Saturday, Amirudin said coordination efforts and mobilisation of machinery began at 2pm.

“But upon receiving reports that the situation was overwhelming, I called the prime minister at 8.30pm and asked for assets to be deployed… He said that fell under the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA),” Amirudin said.

“At 8.45pm, I contacted (Defence Minister) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and informed him that we needed to mobilise military assets. He gave the commitment that he would instruct the army to be deployed.

Amirudin insisted there was no issue of reluctance to reach out to the Federal government as the state was well aware of its capacity and capabilities.

While sympathising with those who had lost their lives and those who had suffered losses caused by the disaster, Amirudin said this was not the time to “play the blame game.”

“What is important now is to save lives and send volunteers to clean up the homes of those affected. Machinery from 28 agencies will be sent out for this purpose, under the Selangor Bangkit recovery programme.

He said several state executive councillors would be coordinating initiatives under the programme, including health, coordinating work with volunteers, cleaning up efforts, and the rebuilding of infrastructure.

A total of RM100 million will be set aside for the effort under the programme.

“We will also be giving out RM1,000 for each family that has been affected, and RM10,000 for those who had lost their loved ones.”

To date, 17 deaths have been recorded in the state – 10 in the Klang district, three in Hulu Langat, and four in Sepang.

“The state will also be launching the Tabung Ikthiar Selangor Bangkit. I will donate one month’s salary to get the ball rolling.”

So far, 30,632 victims from 4,672 families have been placed in 203 temporary relief centres in the state.

“We expect the figures to increase as the water levels in areas like Kuala Selangor, Sepang, and Kuala Langat, are rising,” he added.