The Great Flood of ’71 and how it paralysed KL
The event resulted in the then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein declaring a state of emergency
MALAYSIA was hit by one of its worst rains in 1971. It killed 32 and a further 180,000 people were affected while damages were reported amounting to approximately RM85 million.
Dubbed the ‘Great Flood’, it was the worst in the country since 1926.
It resulted in the then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein declaring a state of emergency. The Kuala Lumpur Flood Mitigation Programme has to be settled at Parliament House to better coordinate rescue efforts between the military, police, and voluntary organisations.
The police and army with boats were evacuating victims from their homes in flood-ridden areas.
Kampung Baru and Kampung Datuk Keramat were reported to be the hardest hit, with houses submerged to the roof.
The rain which started on Boxing Day of 1970 dragged into the new year of 1971.
By January 5, three-quarters of Kuala Lumpur was paralysed due to severe rain causing three major rivers – Batu River, Klang River, and Gombak River – to burst their banks.
The Sultan Abdul Samad Supreme Court Building, Saint Mary’s Church, Ampang Road’s American Insurance Associates Building, Kuala Lumpur’s first supermarket The Weld, and Foch Avenue – now known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock – were not spared, while transportation was disrupted.
The situation was so bad that vehicles could only go as far as Jalan Campbell, now known as Jalan Dang Wangi and Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, as roads were submerged under water.
Thankfully after four long days, the water started to subside, and Kuala Lumpur went back to normal.
The Vibes Culture and Lifestyle presents a short video on The Great Flood in conjunction with Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Jubilee this year.
source – The Vibes