GEORGE TOWN: Don’t leave home without your umbrella today. That is the advice for Penangites as the state is placed on Yellow alert for 48 hours following incessant rain since yesterday.
The Malaysia Meteorological Department issued the warning for Perlis, Kedah and Penang, especially the risk-prone areas.
All evacuation centres have been told to be equipped with the necessities and make sure that all equipment are in good working order.
Penang Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the voluntary rescue departments are also on standby.
“We have 44 boats on standby for rescue operations to deliver relief supplies to flood victims or ferry them to higher ground if necessary,” he said yesterday.
Penang Fire and Rescue Department (fire operations and safety) officer Supt Nafis Ariff Abdullah said they are ready to face any emergency such as floods or landslides.
“Some 220 firemen are on standby at 20 stations in the state.
“We are monitoring the flood- prone areas, and we have our trucks and boats ready to spring into action.
“The risk will increase during the full-moon period between May 17 and 22 as the tide will be higher then,” he said.
Over in Lengkok P. Ramlee, which is one of the low-lying areas in the state, 60-year-old resident Christine Ang said she is prepared for the worst after the last major deluge destroyed almost all the furniture in her house.
“The November (Nov 4 and 5) floods in 2017 was the worst. We lost most of our belongings.
“So this time, if the rain is heavy and slightly longer, we will start moving our cars to higher ground and our belongings to a safer place,” she said.
Meanwhile, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) general manager Cheok Lay Leng said there were no landslides reported at Penang Hill.
“There are no major concerns for landslides so far. We trimmed a few trees when they fell after strong winds yesterday but other than that, nothing happened.
“Our team sweeps the track every morning as early as 5.30am and also monitors all public areas,” he said.
As of August last year, it was reported that over 319 landslides occurred on Penang Hill.
In 2017, Penang was virtually paralysed by floods on Nov 4 and 5 where the waters reached the roof of some landed houses in Bandar Baru Ayer Itam.