THE scorching heat in Penang has led to grass patches turning brown and water levels at dams plunging drastically.
Despite the short spells of rain in the evening over the past few days, the weather forecast said heavy rain was not expected until the end of March.
A check by StarMetro at popular spots like Padang Brown in George Town showed the first-hand effects of the heat as most of the grass had turned various shades of brown.
Hardly any green could be seen at the popular spot for sports activities and evening picnics.
Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) records also showed a decline in the water levels at dams.
Ayer Itam Dam was at 57.3%, Teluk Bahang Dam at 81.7% and Mengkuang Dam at 92.8%.
This indicated that the Ayer Itam Dam had lost 31.4% of its capacity since Dec 17.
On Dec 17, the three dams in the state were headed towards full capacity with recorded levels well above the average mark.
Water levels recorded then at the Ayer Itam Dam was 88.7%, Teluk Bahang Dam at 87.6% and Mengkuang Dam at 93.9%.
The Environment Department had reported an increase in the number of fires associated with the hot and dry weather too, with 19,099 open burning complaints between January 2019 and January this year.
The department noted that Malaysia normally experiences a hot and dry spell from the middle of January to March due to the second phase of the north-east monsoon.
State environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh was reported to have said that bush fires were occurring almost every day because of the scorching heat. — By N TRISHA