Penang records highest rainfall in history at 315mm

GEORGE TOWN: The rain which lashed Penang overnight is on record to be the highest – 45 mm more than the previous record of 270mm recorded on Sept 15, this year.

And in terms of its deadly effect, it is tenfold more as more roads were affected and more landslides were recorded over the weekend compared to Sept 15.

Over the weekend, four elderly Penangites drowned while one Bangladeshi was killed when a tree fell on his makeshift staff quarters in Butterworth.

A Nepalese fish farm worker at Bukit Tambun remained missing with fears that he was washed into the sea by the rising tide.

This time also, there was more debris such as fallen trees compared to two months ago.

In terms of the volume, it is a tremendous assault of rainwater, said Penang Water Authority (PBA) CEO Datuk Jaseni Madinsa, who also told theSun that the three dams in Penang remained secured despite the heavy rainfall.

"We have not released any water despite the record level of rainfall. It is 315mm – the highest to date," said Jaseni.

But there are signs that the effects are now abating with more effort focused on the recovery efforts such as securing hill slopes where landslides occurred, dispersing traffic congestion, restoring power supply to the eight localities and helping those displaced by the floodwaters, State Secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said.

At press time, traffic managed to enter several roads which were previously reported as impassable, while the local authorities were busy removing the debris although, in Balik Pulau, traffic remained congested due to the debris on the two access roads.

At the Penang International Airport, flights resumed at their normal pace after three flights were diverted on Saturday night.

Airline passengers recalled their anxious moments with one passenger saying that his flight tried to land in Penang twice but failed; each time having to return to Kuala Lumpur airspace due to the rainfall.

Another passenger said that her flight from klia2 landed safely in Penang at 1am after a delay but she was stuck at the airport until 7am as there were no taxis or ride sharing providers willing to drive pass flooded roads to her home in Green Lane.