Wet, wet Penang
GEORGE TOWN: Strong winds and heavy rain lashed Penang again yesterday, causing severe floods and several landslides – for the fourth time in just 10 days.
The latest incident comes a week after Deepavali when high waters inundated several parts of George Town and areas around Sungai Pinang and Air Itam.
Students who were taking their SPM examinations had to be assisted by personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department, who used boats to send them to their respective schools.
Just four days ago on Nov 4, residents endured a similar ordeal when flash floods hit several parts of the island following a downpour in the morning.
Areas affected then included Bayan Lepas and Batu Maung in the southwest district while flooded roads i ncluded Jalan Anson, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Terengganu.
Floods accompanied by strong winds and heavy rains had also occurred on Nov 1 and Oct 29, affecting more than 600 residents
and causing mudslides and a number of trees to be uprooted in several areas.
Many residents in the affected areas suffered losses as muddy waters rushed into their homes, damaging furniture and other belongings.
Permatang Damar Laut, Batu Maung, Kampung Lahar Ikan Mati and Kepala Batas were some of the areas badly affected.
In the second half of the year, Penang has been hit by a spate of bad weather resulting in flash floods affecting thousands and causing massive traffic snarls due to flooded roads.
On July 18, some 1,000 residents of Kampung Teluk Awak in Teluk Bahang were evacuated after heavy rains and high tides overwhelmed the drainage systems.
Also affected were Batu Maung and Teluk Kumbar as well as Permatang Binjai and Air Putih Tasik Junjung on the mainland.
The Bayan Lepas industrial area was badly hit while the Penang International Airport experienced flooding during a late afternoon downpour, causing the delay of several outbound flights.
On Sept 18, heavy rain and a freak windstorm battered Prai, Bukit Mertajam and several other areas in the state and caused trees to be uprooted.
Flood-prone Jalan P. Ramlee was also affected but there were no reported casualties or damage to property.
The incidents have been attributed to over-development, leading to criticism of the state administration.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Sunday announced that the state budget for 2017 will be focused on addressing the issue of floods.
Students from SMK Abdullah Munshi in Jalan P. Ramlee use a boat to get to their examination centre for the first day of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam after flash floods hit Penang.