News: Rain causes flood havoc in Penang

The Star, April 7 2013

GEORGE TOWN: Torrential rain wreaked havoc in Penang, causing a landslide and flash floods in several low-lying areas in what has been described by Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo as the worst in five years of the Pakatan Rakyat tenure in the state.

Among the worst-hit areas caused by the downpour which started at 3am were Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sungai Pinang, Jalan Patani, Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Datuk Keramat.

“In just three hours, the rainfall measured up to 168mm, approximately half the monthly figure,” Jagdeep said in a press conference at his service centre in Jalan Datuk Keramat.

Sungai Pinang was the worst-hit area, he said.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environmental Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that he would distribute 2,500 packets of food to the affected residents.

Sungai Pinang exceeded its danger level of 2.7m, measuring 3.19m now.

No floods were reported in Butterworth.

“This is our first assignment as the caretaker government and our team is on the ground to help,” said Phee.

Many residents could be seen cleaning their houses after the water receded.

One of them was contractor Rawana Mohd Yusof Rawana Ishak, 59, who said he immediately alerted his wife and son after the warning siren was sounded by the state Drainage and Irrigation Department at 6.45am.

He said shortly after that, water started flowing into his double-storey house located at the Jalan Perak-Jalan P. Ramlee junction.

“By then, we had already moved our cars and motorcycles to higher ground in Jalan Perak.

“We placed our electrical appliances such as the television set and refrigerator on a table,” he said, adding that this was the first time his house was flooded this year.

Night market trader Bah Chin Guan, 48, said this was the first time his house in Taman Thean Teik was inundated with 1m of water.

He said all his furniture and mattresses were soaked and estimated his losses to be about RM5,000.

In Paya Terubong, a landslide was reported in Lebuh Rambai 13 as rocks and mud were washed down from the slope.

Luckily, nobody was injured as the muddy water flowed into the main roads and dirtied the entrances of several houses.

The debris washed down from the slope also damaged a nearby shrine.