The scenes from yesterday’s floods in the Klang Valley were dramatic, showing high waters and stranded cars at Kuchai Lama, Kesas Highway and KL city centre car parks, among other spots. Felt like just another rainy day initially, since we seem to be in such a “season” now, but water levels rose so suddenly.

Turns out that yesterday’s rainfall was super heavy – up to half a month’s worth of rain crashed down in just two hours, overwhelming our drainage and spilling over everywhere.

According to environment and water minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, the Taman Desa SMART station and Air Panas station recorded rainfall readings of 106.5 mm and 155 mm respectively, two hours after the rain started at about 2.30pm. Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Zaini Ujang said that KL on average sees 2,500 mm of rain in a year, which translates to an average of 208 mm a month.

“The floods were caused by unusually heavy rains over a period of two hours, causing the existing drainage system to be unable to contain the high water flow capacity. Rain is now unpredictable, usually the monsoon season is at the end of the year, but now we are seeing rain falling in March. Usually in March, there is a drought,” he said at a press conference yesterday night, covered by Malay Mail.

“This is the direct effects of climate change that is happening, and because of that we are trying to give our full attention to long-term solutions,” the Kubang Kerian MP added.

Tuan Ibrahim said that his ministry has requested RM393 billion for long-term solutions to mitigate floods in the country. In January, the minister told parliament that Malaysia would need to spend over RM300 billion for flood mitigation measures over a 50 year period — including the building of embankments and dykes.

Have you bought special perils/flood auto insurance coverage? It’s an extra cost option that’s not default, but it’s good to have in such unpredictable weather – otherwise, you’re on your own if the unfortunate happens. Check out our guide on special perils insurance. Drive safe.

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