VILLAGERS in Kampung Nelayan, which was the worst hit area in Teluk Bahang during the floods in Penang island on Monday, are hoping that the floods will not recur and force them to leave their homes.
Salmiah Yusof, 42, harbours fears of another downpour soon.
“I’m afraid that it will rain again and cause the water level to rise.
“Some of the furniture in my house are spoilt due to the flood,” she said, adding that she would take about two whole days to fully clean her single-storey terrace house.
She is keeping her fingers crossed with hope that there will be no more heavy rain.
“It’s tiring to be evacuated from your home and then to come back and find the place in a mess,” she said when met while leaving the flood evacuation centre at the Perpustakaan Komuniti Siber Ilmu in Teluk Bahang yesterday.
Salmiah, a single mother who has a 14-year-old disabled daughter Siti Hawa Abdul Rahim, said when the water flowed into their house, she had to act fast to move Siti Hawa on a higher ground.
Both her sons, aged 15 and 19, had to stay over with her sister.
Another villager Siti Shahara, 27, recalled how the water level rose until her waist level in less than an hour.
“That’s when I contacted the Fire and Rescue Department for help and we were moved to the centre.” The mother of three said there was mud all over her house.
“I just hope the floods don’t happen again as we have to clean up the house all over again,” she added.
As of 3.30pm yesterday, the five families who stayed at the centre, returned to their homes.
Teluk Bahang residents said it was one of the worst flash floods in recent years, with about 300 houses affected by the rising waters.
It was reported that heavy rainfall was recorded up to 190mm in the Teluk Bahang Dam and high tide had caused the Sungai Teluk Awak’s bank to burst causing the flash floods in the area.
Over at the Dewan Gerakan Masyarakat relief centre in Teluk Kumbar, there were still 65 people as of 5pm yesterday.
According to housewife Sayang Mohd Isa, 72, from Kampung Suluk, it floods each time it rains there.
“The worst was in September when the flood water reached our chest level. We hope the state government can do something quickly.
“The ongoing development at the bottom of the hill is also to be blamed for the clogging of drainage systems causing our village to be flooded,” she said when met at the centre yesterday.
It is believed that 109 people were affected by the floods at Kampung Paya, Kampung Suluk and Kampung Nelayan in Teluk Kumbar.
The downpour on Monday also resulted in five to eight small boulders rolling down the hill at Jalan Tun Sardon in Balik Pulau in the wee hours yesterday morning.
State Public Works Department (JKR) director Salleh Awang when contacted, said the boulders, between five to 10 tonnes in total, had crushed the steel guard rail installed along the road when they came crashing down at about 8am.
He also said a gabion (a cage filled with rocks or concrete) would be installed by next week and experts would be brought in to determine other long-term preventative measures.
“We will also be carrying out investigations to determine the cause of the incident and identify other areas which are prone to similar rock slides,” he said.
A similar incident happened on May 28 when an avalanche of granite boulders along the same road almost killed passing motorists while a boulder – estimated at 20 tonnes and as tall as a man – crushed the left side of a car, trapping the vehicle.
A check by The Star at 5.30pm yesterday saw JKR personnel directing traffic along the busy road as the boulders were yet to be removed.
Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah said heavy rain of 80mm per hour, high tide and a culvert that was not upgraded were believed to be the main cause of the floods in Kampung Teluk Awak, Kampung Nelayan and Jalan Hassan Abas in Teluk Bahang.
He said heavy rain of 80mm per hour was recorded between 1pm and 2pm on Monday.
“In total, 247mm of rain was recorded in Teluk Bahang from morning until night on Monday.
“The volume of water from Sungai Kelian in Teluk Awak was high and the culvert at the exit of the river was unable to sustain the volume, hence, causing the flood.
“I have been highlighting in the state assembly for the past two years for the culvert to be widened but it has fallen on deaf ears,” he told a press conference yesterday.
He also urged PBA Holdings Bhd to look into ways to divert water volume from Sungai Kelian in Teluk Awak to the Teluk Bahang Dam.
Traffic jams were reported on Penang island at Jalan Datuk Ismail Hashim, Jalan Mahsuri and Jalan Tun Dr Awang in Bayan Lepas, and also at Jalan Paya Terubong, Lebuhraya Thean Teik and Jalan Masjid Negeri in Air Itam at 9am yesterday.
Burma Road was also among the many roads that were congested.
Over in Kedah, a total of 420 flood victims had been moved to 10 flood relief centres in Baling, Kuala Muda and Yan districts here, following continuous rain since Monday afternoon.
The Kedah Fire and Rescue Department said in a statement that the number of evacuees at the relief centres yesterday morning were 179.
Yan OCPD DSP Muhamad Halim Yatim said as at 4.40pm yesterday there were 44 people at one relief centre in Baling, 236 at five centres in Yan and 140 people at four centres in Kuala Muda.
He said 99 personnel from police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department, Health Department, District Office and Syarikat Air Darul Aman (Sada) were on duty in the affected areas.
Yan Welfare Department officer Roslan Ishak said the victims were evacuated from their villages to the flood relief centres in Yan since 11pm on Monday.
Yan Fire and Rescue station operation commander assistant fire Superintendent Mohd Firdaus Isa said the Yan Fire and Rescue station received a call about flash flood at Kampung Titi Teras, Guar Chempedak at 5.48pm on Monday.
“When the rescue team reached the village, the water level had risen about one metre high,” he said, adding that Masjid Titi Teras was the first flood relief centre to be opened in Yan.
Villager Bashah Ariffin, 60, from Kampung Teroi Bukit in Yan, said the rain started at 3pm on Monday.
“The water level rose and entered into our houses at about 8pm. The water level only receded about 5am the next day,” he said.
His neighbour Zakaria Ismail, 76, said several electrical items in his house were damaged after getting submerged in the knee-high water.
He said the worst flood he had experienced in Yan was about 10 years ago when the water level rose to about 1.5m.