Penang airport floods stall 12 flights


GEORGE TOWN: A total of 12 flights were rescheduled at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas after the terminal was flooded during a five-hour downpour which began at about 2.30pm.

The downpour caused the arrival hall to be flooded with water levels reaching 0.3m at about 5pm before subsiding about an hour later.

Airport senior manager Mohd Arif Jaafar said 10 incoming and two outgoing flights were affected from about 4pm onwards.

Among the affected flights were incoming AirAsia flights from Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur (two), Saigon and Johor Baru.

Also delayed were a Firefly flight from Kota Baru and three Malindo flights from Malacca, Subang and Kuala Lumpur.

There was also traffic jam at the arrival area of the airport as water was seen overflowing at the roundabout near the terminal.

Contractor Ong Lay Hong, 53, who was at the airport to pick up his son, who was arriving back from Beijing, said he was at the airport at 4.15pm and the water level was already rising.

Nowhere to go: People helping to move a stalled vehicle after heavy rain caused flooding in Jalan Hassan Abas, Teluk Bahang.
Nowhere to go: People helping to move a stalled vehicle after heavy rain caused flooding in Jalan Hassan Abas, Teluk Bahang.

“The water was flowing from inside the arrival hall to the waiting area for taxis,” he said.

Travellers, among them American tourist Trisha Goulding, 29, were seen lugging their heavy luggage through the water at the arrival hall.

“It is very inconvenient to drag my luggage through this flood water,” she said.

The flooding has happened for the umpteenth time at the airport since the RM250mil expansion project was completed at the end of 2012 and despite various measures taken over the years to reduce the flooding woes.

Based on newspaper reports, the airport had been hit by flash floods, sometimes up to twice a year.

Heavy rainfall also resulted in flooding in several areas on the island including Permatang Damar Laut, Teluk Bahang and Batu Ferringhi.

Teluk Bahang residents said it was one of the worst flash floods in recent years, with about 300 houses affected by the rising waters.

Teluk Bahang Village Development and Security Com­mittee chairman Zainudin Yusoff, 54, said the area worst hit in Teluk Bahang was Kampung Nelayan, which is near a river.

Dampened spirits: Travellers forced to trudge through floodwaters at the Penang International Airport with their luggages in Bayan Lepas. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star
Dampened spirits: Travellers forced to trudge through floodwaters at the Penang International Airport with their luggages in Bayan Lepas. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

He said that it had rained for about 20 hours since 9.15pm on Sunday and that the condition worsened yesterday due to high tide.

South-west district officer Ederis Mat Din said about 30 people from 10 families had been evacuated yesterday.

But it is learnt that they returned to their homes once flood waters subsided.

He also confirmed there was no death reported at press time yesterday.

State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said 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.

The Meteorological Department here recorded a total rainfall of 164mm as of 8pm at the Bayan Lepas station yesterday, with the highest rainfall reading at 69.2mm at 5pm.

Courts Crime , flash flood , Teluk Bahang , airport