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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    7 August  2012

Thousands in Malaysia's Penang hit by morning floods


Thousands of residents in low-lying areas of Penang state were hit by an early morning flood after a downpour that started at 3:00am yesterday.

Parts of Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sungai Pinang, Jalan Patani, Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Datuk Keramat were flooded. The water level was knee-deep in some areas, and the situation was made worse by the high tide yesterday.

At least 3,000 people, mainly those living in the flood-prone areas of Datuk Keramat and Jalan P. Ramlee, were affected.

Many residents could be seen cleaning their houses after the floodwaters receded.

Retiree Hamid Karim, 59, said the water rose to chest-level at Jalan P. Ramlee during the three-hour downpour.

“I stayed at my neighbour's house until 9:00am. My family members were sent to my relatives' house nearby. When I returned, my bed, cupboards, washing machine and fridge were soaked,” he said.

Another resident Hajjah Rahima Mohd Noor, 80, said her house was hit by flash floods for the third time since June this year.

She said the water rose to at least one metre in her house during the downpour.

Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the rainfall recorded was 140mm within two hours yesterday.

He said the problem would be solved permanently once Phase Two of the flood mitigation project is completed.

The project costing RM150mil is listed under the 10th Malaysia Plan. It involves the widening and deepening of the river from Kampung Rawa to the Dhoby Ghaut bridge to help alleviate flooding in the surrounding areas.

State Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang said the rainfall recorded yesterday was the highest since September 2008.

“Water overflowed the banks in Sungai Pinang, causing flash floods in several areas.

“The water started to recede at 8am. The Penang Municipal Council and state Drainage and Irrigation Department must carry out the clean-up work immediately,” he said.

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