GEORGE TOWN — Life came to a halt for some 1,000 residents of Teluk Bahang yesterday after flood waters inundated their homes following a downpour from Sunday evening.
Residents of Kampung Teluk Awak, Kampung Nelayan and Desa Marina claim it was one of the worst floods in the last four years.
They said rain pounded Teluk Bahang from 9.15pm on Sunday, lasting about 15 hours.
As flood waters started to rise at about 1.30pm, villagers moved their vehicles to higher land. The flood was about waist deep at its peak before subsiding from about 4pm.
More than 20 firemen from two fire stations were deployed to the area with several four-wheel drive vehicles and boats to evacuate the affected residents.
A spokesman for the Teluk Bahang Fire and Rescue Department said the continuous downpour was the cause of the floods.
“But we also do not rule out the possibility that it might be because of the condition of the drain and water could not run off efficiently,” he said.
Teluk Bahang village committee chairman Zainudin Yusoff said it was the first time Desa Marina was flooded.
“This is also the third time the floods happened at Kampung Nelayan after 1969 and 2012,” he said.
“The people here were cooperating well with the authorities in moving the affected villagers to the nearby Penang Island City Council (MBPP) multipurpose hall.”
Another resident, Iskandar Hassan, 43, said the water had covered the road quickly.
“I don’t dare to imagine what could happen if the rain continues until later in the evening (yesterday). Thankfully, the firemen were here quickly to help us,” he said.
Lim Theng Fat, 49, said his house was flooded from 2pm and he had to leave it in a hurry as the water was rising very fast.
“In a way, I am glad my family is not here when this happened. My wife and our three children went to my in law’s house in George Town,” he said.
Local government, flood mitigation and traffic management committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said rainfall of 190mm was recorded in Teluk Bahang, causing the flash floods.
He said the floods were also due to the high tide and the river near Kampung Teluk Awak bursting its banks.
Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah said hill clearing near the villages could also have caused the flash floods.
“Whether the land clearing is legal or illegal, it could have contributed to the floods,” he said.
Other low-lying areas affected by the floods yesterday were Relau, Bayan Lepas, Batu Maung and Sungai Tiram.