Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah has described the recent floods that occurred in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend as the worst in 50 years, likening it to the great floods of 1971.
A Bernama report quoted the King as saying so while visiting a makeshift emergency evacuation centre at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in downtown Kampung Baru yesterday, 19 December.
“I am still reviewing the situation from time to time, and in the meantime I hope all of you will remain patient and accept the flood as fate,” His Majesty was quoted as saying.
In January of 1971, a state of emergency was declared after weeklong monsoon rains caused flash floods in the capital region, claiming 32 lives, and affecting roughly 180,000 residents, per Straits Times.
Sultan Abdullah also expressed concern that although five decades has passed since that disaster, the country ought to be prepared to deal with floods, especially during the monsoon periods in December and January.
Kuala Lumpur saw heavy rainfall for over 24 hours starting last Friday, inundating landmarks such as Masjid Jamek and Dataran Merdeka, while also leaving many roads impassable.
In fact, Environment and Water Ministry secretary-general Zaini Ujang said the sheer amount of rain in that period was more than what is usually recorded in a month.
“The annual rainfall in Kuala Lumpur is 2,400 mm and this means yesterday’s rainfall has exceeded the average rainfall for a month. It is something beyond expectations and only occurs once every 100 years,” he said according to The Edge.