Penang govt admits poor drainage system contributed to floods

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-led Penang government today conceded that the floods currently affecting more than 100 areas in five districts in the state since yesterday is due to its poor drainage system.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow admitted that the existing drainage system could not accommodate the huge flow of water during heavy rain.

The extraordinary heavy rain since 2pm yesterday, which coincided with the peak of the high tide phenomenon, also contributed to the flash floods, he told reporters here today.

He said heavy rainfall was recorded, with the highest at Seberang Perai Utara, at 372mm, followed by Seberang Perai Tengah (327 mm), Timur Laut (289 mm), Barat Daya (237 mm) and Seberang Perai Selatan (165 mm).

Almost all of Penang island was hit by floods following yesterday's heavy rain, he said, adding that there were 75 reports of falling trees and eight reports of landslides.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government did not have adequate resources, in terms of manpower and equipment, to handle the floods in Penang and expressed gratitude to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the assistance rendered.

Lim said he called the deputy prime minister at 3.30am and the latter immediately sent members of the Malaysian Armed Forces to Penang to help.

However, Lim said the state government had no intention of declaring an emergency in the state because of the flood as the situation was still under control.

"We will work with the federal government to review the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) on handling of state disaster for a more effective coordination," he added.

As of 2pm today, 51 evacuation centres have been opened in Penang to accommodate 2,861 flood victims in five districts. — Bernama