Penang flood: At least 7 dead as authorities issue heavy rain warning, military mobilised

Penang flood: At least 7 dead as authorities issue heavy rain warning, military mobilised

Penang flood aerial shot
Large parts of George Town, Penang were flooded as traffic was brought to a standstill. (Photo: Jocelyn Tan)

GEORGE TOWN: Seven people have been killed and over 3,000 evacuated after a storm triggered serious flooding Sunday (Nov 5) in Penang.

Northeast district police head Anuar Omar confirmed the deaths of Chew Eng Lean, 78, Amanullah Shabib Kalandir, 75, and Lau Guek Jee, 64 on Sunday afternoon. Another victim, 97-year-old Chong Sin Thon, was found in his home.

"The sixth victim identified as Tan Ah Peow, 45, was found by his neighbor at 2pm today while the seventh victim, also a man, was found by a member of the public at 2.40pm," Anuar said.

A Bangladeshi man was also killed while his friend was missing after a tree fell on their rented house in Kampung Perlis in Butterworth on Saturday night.

Meteorological Department has forecast that the rain is set to continue after it showed signs of easing on Sunday (Nov 5) afternoon.

In an update on Facebook, the department issued an "orange" alert warning, which indicates expected continuous rainfall with strong winds in the northern states of Kedah, Perlis and Penang.

Penang's chief minister Lim Guan Eng earlier appealed for help from the armed forces, after massive floods brought the state to a standstill.

The state has also issued an advisory, calling for those in low-lying areas to move to higher ground.

At least 2,800 people had been evacuated and 80 per cent of the state was hit by typhoon-like winds and heavy rain.

The chief minister said floodwater had risen to 3 to 4 metres. Lim also warned in a Facebook post that more rain was expected and advised residents to stay at home.

Military forces were deployed to help thousands of displaced people in Penang, officials said, as floodwater rose from more than 24 hours of incessant rain.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the National Security Council was coordinating with police and the military to assist flood victims after a request for assistance from Penang.

Penang flood
Relief teams rescue those stranded in the massive floods that have affected the Malaysian state of Penang. (Photo: LimSianSee@Facebook)


Hundreds of trees were toppled and roads were submerged, leaving many areas practically paralysed, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported. 

Bernama reported that there were 75 reports of falling trees and eight reports of landslides

Penang Hospital flooded
Parts of Penang Hospital were flooded. (Photo: Facebook/Astro Radio News)

Parts of the Penang Hospital, including the neo-natal intensive care ward, was also hit by floods but the hospital is still functioning.

Penang director of health Dr M Sukumar said 104 patients and several newborn babies were moved to flood-free wards and all patients continued to receive their treatment.

"We remain fearful that there may still be untoward incidents because of the strong winds, the like of which have never been experienced before, and flash floods might recur," Lim told reporters in Penang.


The Penang government confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the floods was due to the poor drainage system. 

Penang's Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow told media that the existing drainage system could not accommodate the huge flow of water during heavy rain.

As of Sunday evening, a total of 3,365 people have been placed in temporary shelters after their homes were flooded or destroyed by the storm.

Penang has bore the brunt of the bad weather, but nearly 2,000 were also evacuated in Kedah while 103 were moved in Perak.

Source: Agencies/CNA/mn