Penang ‘paralysed’ from floods caused by 15-hour heavy rains

Nov 5, 2017
Clean up work being done by Penang City Council workers. Photo from Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang Facebook page

GEORGE TOWN: The storm in Penang that lasted more than 15 hours caused flash floods to break out in many parts of the state and hundreds of houses to be inundated.

Hundreds of trees toppled over and many roads were submerged, leaving many areas practically paralysed.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said 1,968 flood victims were evacuated to shelters in four districts.

Seberang Perai Tengah saw 1,125 people in shelters, Seberang Perai Utara (650), Timur Laut (70) and Barat Daya (158).

“The Malaysian Armed Forces has deployed personnel to the Timur Laut district to render assistance. As for Seberang Perai, we are awaiting military personnel from the Sungai Petani Camp and we are badly in need of their help. There are many more flood victims who desperately need help.

“The situation has improved somewhat and the rains are easing off. However, floodwaters have yet to recede and the winds are still strong. We remain fearful that there may still be untoward incidents because of the strong winds, the like of which have never experienced before, and flash floods might recur. he told reporters.

He thanked the MAF, Civil Defence Force, Police, the Fire and Rescue Department and all parties who helped out and hoped the safety and security of families would be safeguarded during this difficult time.

Checks by Bernama found Seberang Jaya on the mainland to be the worst hit with even several sections the Seberang Jaya Hospital hit by flash floods.

However, the situation was under control and no patients were moved out.

Meanwhile, Penang International Airport manager Ramzi Ahmad said the storm caused four flights that were to land to be diverted, three to the Subang Airport, and one to the Langkawi International Airport.

“More than 26 outbound flights were delayed but all operations still went smoothly. Currently all flights are operating as normal,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rapid Penang is temporarily ceasing its stage bus operations due to the flash floods in Penang Island and on the mainland.

Rapid Penang in a statement today said floodwaters have inundated major roads and electricity supply to key areas were disrupted.

“In the interest of public safety, we have no option but to temporarily cease the operations of our stage buses until the heavy rain and floodwaters subside,” it said.

All commuters were advised to refer to the Rapid Penang Facebook at rapidpgfans for updates, it said –Bernama