Forced to wade through floods
> SPM candidates had to take boats, downpour also caused landslides, road closures
GEORGE TOWN: Flash floods and landslides following a pre-dawn downpour in Penang island forced several students sitting for their SPM examination to use boats to reach their examination centres.
Some 15 candidates taking the exam at SMK Abdullah Munshi were ferried to the school by boats from the Civil Defence Force and Penang Fire and Rescue Services Department after Jalan P. Ramlee and the surrounding areas were inundated with kneehigh water making them impassable by car.
The heavy rain which started at about 2.30am also resulted in a landslide in Jalan Ujung Batu, Teluk Bahang near Balik Pulau about 4.30am which forced the closure of the road.
About seven trees crashed unto the road and along with loose soil, cut off access to the city with those staying in the area having to take a circuitous route via Balik Pulau to reach George Town.
The collapse of a 10m section of the road shoulder added to the woes but it has since been cordoned off for safety.
The Penang Education Department has arranged for candidates staying at Teluk Bahang to sit for their exams in schools at the area since they could not go to their original exam centres.
Department deputy director Mohd Jamil Mohamed said affected SPM candidates were placed in other examination centres.
“There is so far no reports of anyone being late,” he said when contacted, adding that 14 candidates have been arranged to take the exam at SMK Tanjung Bungah, 29 at SMK Teluk Bahang and one at SMJK(C) Union.
Meanwhile, State Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said work to clear the debris in Jalan Ujung Batu was ongoing.
He said the Public Works Department will have to ensure the road was safe to use before the collapsed stretch can be reopened for use.
Also affected was Jalan Bukit Relau, which was closed during the morning rush hour, following a landslide at about 3.30am.
This resulted in a massive traffic gridlock at Paya Terubong as the road is the shortest way to the Bayan Lepas industrial area for those staying there.
Meanwhile Bernama reported a total of 434,535 registered candidates sat for their first paper, Bahasa Melayu Kertas 1, yesterday. The exams will be held until Dec 6. The Education Ministry said 3,732 examination centres are opened nationwide which also involved 32,220 invigilators.
A collapsed part of the road following heavy rain in Jalan Teluk Bahang.