GEORGE TOWN, Jul 30 – Six people from three families were evacuated to a flood relief centre at Masjid Hashim Yahya, Jalan Perak here, early yesterday after several low lying areas on the island was hit by flash floods following a four-hour heavy rain since 1.30am.
The situation was made worse with the high tide occurring at 3.30am, preventing the water from flowing to the sea. A spokesman for the Penang Fire and Rescue Department said they received a distress call at 3.30am on the victims stranded in their houses due to flash floods.
“The six victims, comprising four men and two women, and from three families, are from Jalan Free School, Jalan York and Jalan P. Ramlee. The heavy rain also caused flooding at Taman Scotland, Jalan Terengganu, Jalan Perak, Jalan Masjid Negeri, Bayan Baru, Dhoby Ghaut, Jalan Zoo, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Jalan Datuk Keramat and Tanjung Tokong, with water rising up to knee level,” he said.
He said several road stretches in the affected areas were closed due to the floods but were opened in stages to light vehicles from 10am. Meanwhile, the Penang City Council (MBPP) said work to clear the waste left behind by the floods, including a fallen tree at Jalan Tun Dr Awang, and in drains, was carried out immediately to ease the flow of water.
A resident at Jalan P. Ramlee, Mohd Ibrahim Yaakob, 53, said he was awakened from sleep at about 2.15am by heavy rain and strong winds and then woke up his wife and two sons to move the electrical appliances in the house to higher ground.
“It’s normal for our housing area to be flooded when there is more than an hour of heavy rain,” he said, adding that by the time they finished moving the electrical appliances upstairs, water began entering the house.
Mohd Ibrahim was among the evacuees in today’s flash floods. Another victim, Aminah Mohamed, 45, said she did not have time to move her electrical appliances as, the time she woke up, water had entered the house. She said she was in the house with her three children, while her husband was away in Perak attending a course.
“All my children did not go to school because their uniforms and shoes are wet,” she added. State Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, in a statement, said almost all the areas hit by the flash floods were in the Sungai Pinang catchment area.
He said implementation of the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project was the only solution to address the flood problem in the area. “Following discussions with the federal government recently, the Sungai Pinang flood mitigation project, which had been shelved for 20 years, will be implemented ad it is now in the process of appointing the consultant for the design work,” he added. — Bernama