GEORGE TOWN: The sun was shining again but after being hit with 250mm of rainfall within hours, state authorities know that the monsoon was here in full swing.
State Public Works Department (JKR) Salleh Awang said it was wary now after heavy rain drenched the state from Monday to yesterday morning.
Over 20 JKR officers were on the field since yesterday afternoon, he said, checking on the integrity of slopes and roads.
Some boulders crashed down from uphill at dawn in Jalan Tun Sardon, the road to Balik Pulau town, and the department was paying attention to that slope.
“We had many calls and tweets from locals and we reacted quickly,” he said, adding that Penangites can call JKR at 04-2898888 or look up its Twitter account, JKRPulau Pinang.
The Meteorological Department’s latest forecast only shows isolated thunderstorms for Penang with clear skies for tomorrow and next Monday.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited the evacuation centre in Teluk Bahang to give flood relief contributions. Ten families of about 30 people were taken to the evacuation centre. All returned home by 3pm yesterday.
Statewide, 65 people from 26 families were evacuated and by 4.50pm, only the Teluk Kumbar flood relief centre remained open.
It was also a miserable time for about 600 dogs at the Penang Animal Welfare Society when floodwaters were waist-high at the sanctuary in Teluk Bahang.
The kennels were submerged and the dogs were quickly placed in the shelter’s buildings.
The storm winds of over 50km an hour forced pilots to circle Penang airport for over an hour while waiting for the gales to abate on Monday.
Many passengers pulled out the airsick bags and Star Media Group regional operations general manager (north) Simone Liong, who was on such a flight, said the plane shook as it circled round the island.
Her 8.55pm flight from Subang was delayed until 10.40pm.
“We circled for maybe 10 times. During the landing, everyone was tense,” she said, adding that the plane only touched down at 1am yesterday.
When contacted, an airline representative gave an assurance that all pilots were well trained to face storms.
“Every plane has enough fuel to reach the next airport in an emergency. For Penang, it will be Langkawi. When there is only enough fuel to reach Langkawi, the pilot will head there, refuel, and return to Penang,” he said.
Meanwhile, AirAsia Penang head Kenneth Tan called on Penang airport to compensate airlines or refund airport charges to passengers after the flooding on Monday.
In Kedah, 420 victims were taken to 10 flood relief centres in Baling, Kuala Muda and Yan.
Water was almost a metre high and Yan victims said it was their worst in 10 years.