GEORGE TOWN: Massive floods have inundated Penang as the Malaysian state appealed for help from the country's armed forces on Sunday (Nov 5).
In a Facebook video post, Penang's Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng appealed for help from the armed forces as he described the grave situation. He also said he thanked Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for speaking to him over the phone at 3.30am about military assistance.
“We have sought the assistance of the armed forces, which the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to send. The flooding has worsened. The water level is still rising – 10 to 12 feet above the roof of houses – and the wind is still very strong. (Even) electricity supply at flood relief centres have been cut off," the chief minister was quoted as saying.
In another video post, the chief minister was seen on the ground helping flood victims as they disembarked a vehicle.
Still reeling from the Sep 15 massive floods, several areas in Penang are once again inundated by flash floods which reportedly reached up to 0.5 metres and uprooted trees as continuous heavy rain and strong winds lasted more than five hours on Saturday.
The incessant rain and winds began battering the areas about 2pm.
Among the affected areas in George Town are Kampung Masjid, Jalan P. Ramlee, Sungai Pinang, Jalan Kebun Lama, Lebuh Carnovan, Jalan Anson, Halaman Bukit Gambira as well as Bayan Baru, Bayan Lepas, Batu Feringghi and Balik Pulau.
Reports from the Timur Laut Drainage and Irrigation Department stated that the water levels have reached danger levels in Sungai Pinang, Sungai Air Itam and Sungai Dondang.
One of the affected residents, Abdul Karim Abdul who resides in Jalan P Ramlee said the flash floods in the area were just continuous, one after another, as every time there was heavy rain, their homes would be flooded.
“We are tired of the flash floods and hope the state government does something to solve our woes here ... in this year so far, we were hit by floods more than 20 times."
Flash floods have also caused traffic congestion in the vicinity of George Town, Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru, Seberang Jaya, Bukit Mertajam and Juru, and led to the closure of several roads.
On Saturday, three flights which were scheduled to land at the Penang International Airport had to turn back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and diverted to Langkawi International Airport due to bad weather.
Penang International Airport senior manager Ramzi Ahmad said at least four flights from could not depart to their respective destinations due to the same problem.
He added that operations at the Penang Airport were still running smoothly and so far, the airport has not been hit by floods despite heavy rains on the island.