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Flash floods drown Penang as Doksuri lashes

September 15, 2017 5:15 AM
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Fire and rescue officials have been working non-stop to evacuate victims and clear landslides and uprooted trees.

GEORGE TOWN: A heavy bout of rain since early this morning has brought Penang to a grinding halt in the worst flash floods the state has seen in recent times.

The heavy rain began as early as 3am, gradually increasing in intensity until about 5am and causing many roads on the island and in Seberang Perai to be inundated in water.

Weather forecasters said the heavy rain is likely an effect of Typhoon Doksuri near Vietnam, which has displaced some 100,000 people so far. The typhoon is expected to make its way towards the north of Thailand and Cambodia over the weekend.

With floodwaters reaching nearly one metre in depth at some areas on Penang island, fire and rescue officials have been working non-stop on evacuations.

Power was also cut in Bandar Baru Air Itam after a substation was seen in smoke.

Smoke emanating from a TNB substation in Taman Thean Teik, Air Hitam. Many households in the area are now experiencing power failure due to the floods.

A Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) spokesperson said they had attended to the problem at 8.30am and were working to restore power to all areas.

Near the Taman Thean Teik substation, an elderly couple were seen perched with umbrellas on top of a roof. Their single-storey house had been almost completely submerged in water.

A woman in her 20s meanwhile was feared drowned near the neighbourhood. A picture of her name tag has been making rounds on social media although rescue officials have yet to say if this was indeed the case.

A nearby government clinic was also partially submerged, with nurses seen pushing medical equipment to the side in attempts to keep it above water.

A RapidPenang bus in George Town was also caught in the floodwaters, with most of its occupants soaked to the feet.

Further up north in Tanjung Tokong, heavy rain caused a landslide, bringing down swathes of earth on six cars parked at an apartment complex in Fettes Park.

Rescue officials scrambled to the scene at about 5am amid the thunderstorms which have been wreaking havoc in Penang.

On the island, 30 areas have been affected, including P Ramlee/Sg Pinang, Air Itam and Paya Terubong. City roads such as Magazine Road and Logan Road are also reportedly inundated.

The situation in Seberang Perai is no different from the island, with at least 40 areas affected.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow is scheduled to given an update on the state-wide floods.


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