Malaysia – Flash Floods in Kuala Lumpur

After heavy rainfall on 01 September 2013, flash floods affected several parts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There have been no reported causalities. The worst to suffer the city’s commuters as several major highways were closed, including the Federal Highway. Some roads became impassable due to flood waters, others became blocked by stranded vehicles. Fallen trees were also a problem, and the Selangor Fire and Rescue service had to send out teams to help clear various roads.

According to the Malaysian Digest, the worst affected parts of the city were Old Klang Road, New Pantai Expressway, Federal Highway and Bangsar.

Kuala Lumpur suffered from similar flash flooding in April this year. Most floods in Malaysia are a result of heavy monsoon rainfall between March and October. However, as with many modern cities, flooding in Kuala Lumpur is often worsened by inadequate drainage systems, river and waterways blocked by debris and trash (see this article about cleaning the Klang River) and over development along flood plains and river banks, in Kuala Lumpur’s case, the Klang and Gombak Rivers. The two rivers merge at Kuala Lumpur.

However, Kuala Lumpur is making some prgress in flood prevention and protection, and currently has a project providing flood water ponds located in Batu, Jinjang and Kepong, able to accommodate high water levels of the Gombak River when necessary. Kuala Lumpur also has the SMART Tunnel (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel), which opened in 2007 and is an innovative solution to the city’s flood and traffic problems. The submerged tunnel can carry both flood water and vehicles. The flood water is normally carried away on a lower level. However should the flooding be on a larger scale, the tunnel is closed to traffic and the whole tunnel then used to help drain flood water