Halt all developments until flood woes end: CAP

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has called on the state government to halt all developments until floods are no longer a problem to the people.

Its officer, S. V. Subarrow said the frequent recurrence of flash floods in the state was alarming and getting from bad to worse.

"All developments must be halted immediately to overcome the flood issue. Many areas that had not been flooded before are now experiencing flooding due to the outdated drainage system and over-development," he told Bernama, here, today.

Subarrow said the flash floods in the state yesterday had turned Deepavali, known as the 'Festival of Lights', into a gloomy atmosphere as many houses were flooded.

"Vehicles were ruined, thousands of ringgit wasted but nothing has been done by the state government to solve the flood problem," he said.

Yesterday evening, flash floods hit the northeast district of Penang Island, causing traffic standstill and road closures due to the high water levels.

More than 600 people in various locations were affected by the flash floods and the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) concluded that the unsystematic drainage system was one of the causes of the floods, besides unexpected heavy rain.

Twenty flood victims from Jalan P. Ramlee were evacuated from their homes to Masjid Hashim Yahaya near Jalan Perak to stay for the night there but by about 12.30am, the flood waters subsided and the roads reopened.

On the mainland yesterday, over 30 houses in Kampung Sepulau and Kampung Balik Bukit, as well as a religious school in Tasek Junjung, Simpang Ampat in Nibong Tebal were inundated by flood waters following a few hours of heavy rain since evening.

A family in Kampung Lahar Ikan Mati, Kepala Batas, also on the mainland, had to evacuate their home due to a flash flood, caused by river overflow after a heavy downpour.

Meanwhile, state Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow urged the federal government to approve the RM350 million sum requested to mitigate the state's chronic flash flood problem. — Bernama