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Monday, November 7, 2016

Penang hit again by landslides and flash floods

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Just a week after flash floods hit Penang during Deepavali and put the city centre at a standstill, the state was again hit by one of the worst landslides and flash floods, early today.
Heavy rain since midnight had caused landslides and flooding across the state and the worst affected was Teluk Bahang where the main road connecting the area to the city was closed due to the landslide.
The landslide caused Teluk Bahang to be cut off since early morning from the city centre as the road is the main artery connecting the village to other parts of the island.
The situation not only affected the residents and SPM examination candidates in Teluk Bahang, but also resulted in students from SMK Abdullah Munshi to go to school by boat due to the high water level.
According to the State Education Department, the examination was still on as usual despite the flood and no students were unable to attend the examination due to the situation.
Currently, the landslide site in Teluk Bahang is being cleared by the local authority and the road is expected to be reopened by this evening.
As for the collapsed road structure, the Public Works Department has assured that it would be repaired immediately.
Teluk Bahang assemblyperson Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah who was at the scene, described the incident as one of the worst floods and landslides in Penang's history, and urged the state government to launch an investigation to find out the cause.
"From what I can see, the water flow from above the landslide area to downhill is very fast and I am worried that the landslide is due to any hill activities in the area," he said
On the collapsed road, Shah Headan said he had received information from the the public that the road had already cracked for some while.
"We can see that the original crack issue has not being addressed properly as the authorities had only tarred the road from top, not by building a piling in the road, causing the soil to erode.
"We have to remember that Teluk Bahang is a tourist area, and with the road not being able to be used, it will definitely affect tourism and the economy of the people as well as the state," he said.
Shah Headan also said that in his constituency, eight out of nine villages were flooded, leaving nearly 400 people in knee-high flood waters.

The most badly affected villages were Kuala Jalan Baru where the water was recorded at waist-high, followed by Air Putih, Kuala Sungai Pinang, Kampung Teluk Bahang and Permatang Pasir.
One family in Kampung Teluk Bahang was evacuated to the local council hall.
Earlier today, several parts of George Town including Jalan Masjid Negeri, Bandar Baru Air Itam and Jalan P Ramlee were flooded to about knee-high after continuous rain since midnight.
According to a state Drainage and Irrigation Department report, the floods in the town area were due to the high density of rainfall and high tide.
- Bernama

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