Parts of Tanjung Bungah inundated after downpour

Fleeing to dry ground: Residents evacuating their flood-hit home in Tanjung Bungah during the downpour. — Photo courtesy of the Fire and Rescue Department

GEORGE TOWN: A storm in the northern coast of Penang island caused flash floods in various parts of Tanjung Bungah here after a two-hour downpour.

The storm, which brought heavy rain from 8am to 10am yesterday, caused flash floods at villages in Batu Ferringhi, Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong.

Penang infrastructure and transportation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said 150mm of rainfall was recorded within two hours.

“This is an extraordinary amount of rainfall as 50mm is already considered very heavy rain.

“With 150mm of rain recorded over two hours, this is quite close to the great storm that happened in November 2017.

“With this amount of rainfall, no normal infrastructure will be able to contain the water runoff, ” he said when contacted.

Zairil, who is also Tanjung Bungah assemblyman, said a total of 33 houses in Batu Ferringhi were affected by the floods but none of the flood victims had moved into the temporary accommodation provided.

“My office assisted them during the floods along with the authorities, and we provided essentials and dry food aid to the families.

“Many have since gone back to their homes for cleaning works after the floods subsided later in the afternoon.

“We did offer temporary shelter to families whose homes were badly affected, but they preferred to stay with their relatives or friends, ” he added.

Bagan Jermal Fire and Rescue Department operations officer Safry Romli, who assisted in operations to rescue flood victims in Kampung Din Bamboo, said the floods occurred due to an overflow from the nearby river.

“The overflow caused water to inundate the houses around here up to one metre in height. We have since moved five of the flood victims to a safe location.

“Surveillance was conducted on site and we found that water had subsided near noon, ” he said.

On video clips of water gushing down slopes in parts of Tanjung Bungah, Zairil said he was aware that such incidents happened at two spots in the area.

On social media, the clips of “minor landslides” went viral after water was seen gushing down the slopes near Pearl Hill in Tanjung Bungah and at a kindergarten in the area.

Zairil explained that the developer in the area had completed a soil protection wall for the slope behind the kindergarten after 2018.

“It was previously exposed soil, but now it is covered in concrete and the rain was quite heavy, so water could be seen gushing down.

“From the clips, it looks serious but no safety hazards have been reported so far. The Penang Island City Council has gone to the site to investigate, ” he added.

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