Furious faces after muddy ordeal

HUNDREDS of residents expressed fury in the aftermath of the flash floods that saw water rising as high as 1m in several parts of Penang.

Among the worst hit were Lebuhraya Thean Teik and Jalan Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam, and Jalan P. Ramlee where water rose to waist-level.

Many of them were busy cleaning their houses filled with mud and silt. Furniture and belongings that were destroyed by the muddy inundation were thrown away.

A three-hour downpour from 4.30pm on Saturday saw many parts of Penang under water.

Retiree Leong Kwai Ying, 60, who lives in Taman Thean Teik 4 in Bandar Baru Air Itam, had to resort to sleeping on a wooden platform.

“My mother and I had to sleep on a platform as our mattresses were soaked in water.

“I had only just bought themattress for about RM1,000 and it is as good as gone.

R. Indrani, 61, sweeping away the muddy water at her house in Jalan Ismail Che Mat, off Jalan P. Ramlee.
R. Indrani, 61, sweeping away the muddy water at her house in Jalan Ismail Che Mat, off Jalan P. Ramlee. 

“My refrigerator also tumbled over and my gas cylinders were floating in the water.

“Everything happened so fast and there was no time to salvage any of our belongings,” she said when met at her house yesterday.

“Something must be done. Life is miserable whenever it rains”.

Members of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation were also out in Taman Thean Teik 4 helping residents with their cleanup while Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh and Air Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai went around visiting affected victims.

Besides Bandar Baru Air Itam and Jalan P. Ramlee, floods were also reported in Taman Lumba Kuda and Jalan Paya Terubong.

The Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID) reported that the flood in the northeast district of Penang affected some 600 people from 300 homes.

It is understood that Sungai Air Hitam burst its banks during the rain, causing water to overflow onto several major roads such as Jalan Masjid Negeri and Scotland Road.

Housewife S.L. Lim, 40, who also stays in the neighbourhood, said she was helpless when water started rising in her house.

“I only managed to move my two cars to higher ground,” she said.

Firemen and auxiliary policemen of Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) were deployed to help with clearing work after landslides occurred at several spots in the hilly road leading to the Air Itam dam.

This huge boulder, the size of a car, came rolling down a slope along Jalan Tun Sardon during the downpour.
This huge boulder, the size of a car, came rolling down a slope along Jalan Tun Sardon during the downpour. 

A giant boulder, the size of a car, and several uprooted trees fell on the road, rendering the road impassable to traffic.

Two landslips were also reported in Jalan Tun Sardon in Balik Pulau and in Jalan Bukit Gambier, where a tree fell across the road.

The state DID, in a statement, said it was monitoring housing developments in Paya Terubong as mudflows were observed at several spots.

It said a flood mitigation project in Jalan Lumba Kuda would be carried out early next year to reduce floodings in the area.

The department also said it was carrying out dredging work in Sungai Pinang, Sungai Air Hitam, Sungai Dondang and Sungai Jelutong to remove sediments in the riverbed and to ensure better water flow into the sea.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Engwas also on the ground, visitingresidents of Kampung Batu Gantong to distribute items suchas mattresses, blankets and emergency kits.

He also went to Taman Lumba Kuda and the temporary flood relief centre in Masjid Jamek Hashim Yahaya in Perak Roadand distributed food and basic essentials to flood victims.

Over on the mainland, resident Shahfizul Md Noor, 31, said yesterday’s flooding was the worst in his life with water rising to 0.5m at his house in Kampung Sepulau in Simpang Ampat.

He said overflowed water from Sungai Junjung swamped his house although there was a barrier to keep out flood water.

“Flooding is a norm to me but this is the worst I have ever faced,” he said.

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