Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Floods in Penang

I was in Penang Island today. Managed to capture the overflowing Sungai Pinang. Flood in Penang - is here to stay. Nothing will change unless a diversion tunnel to channel the rushing water away from the Farlim's valley. Here are what I found during my research into the flooding areas in Penang. Two main rivers feed Sungai Pinang. The confluence of the two rivers is beside Jalan Air Itam. Flooding happened after this confluence. The large volume of water came from Sungai Air Itam.
Jalan P. Ramlee on 30 Sept 08

Lorong Kulit. Rubbish blocking the flow.
Jalan Gopeng

Diversion tunnel exit at Mt Erskine.

A diversion tunnel was built from Jalan Kebun Bunga where the rich were affected by the flood then. The flood water diverted to Tanjung Tokong via Mt Erskine. If this diversion tunnel has been built from Farlim's valley, the flooding along Sungai Pinang could be lessen. Well, most affected along Sungai Pinang were squatters....so there is no reason to build a diversion tunnel.

Well, if you are rich and influential, you can influence the politicians to build a tunnel. That's life.

Map shows the confluence of Sungai Air Itam (Left) and Sungai Air Terjun (Right). Which is larger? Why diversion for a small river?


Floods, landslides hit Penang again

Tuesday September 30, 2008

GEORGETOWN: Thousands of motorists were caught in massive traffic jams Tuesday morning, when flash floods and mudslides hit Penang for the second time this month.

Flood-prone areas in the state, including the inner city, Jalan P. Ramlee, Balik Pulau, Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru, Seberang Prai and Butterworth were the worst hit.

Heavy rainclouds loom over Georgetown in Penang after a spell of incessant rainfall since Monday night.

According to Central Seberang Prai police media relations officer Supt Shaharon Anuar Abdul Latif, Sungai Dua in Butterworth had overflowed its banks following heavy rains since Monday.

“On the island, the water level in Jalan P. Ramlee was waist-high about 7am. The alert level for the nearby Sungai Pinang is 2.6m but the current water level is 3m.

“Several vehicles were stuck because the roads were flooded,” he said, adding that police personnel have been placed on high alert.

He said among the other affected areas were Air Putih and Taman Manggis in Balik Pulau where the water rose to about 0.3m high.

“So far, three landslides have been reported along Jalan Tun Sardon. The road links Paya Terubong and Balik Pulau.

“The road from Teluk Kumbar to Balik Pulau has been closed,” he said.

Bayan Lepas assemblyman Syed Amerruddin Datuk Syed Ahmad said five villages - Kampung Nelayan, Kampung Mesjid, Kampung Padang, Kampung Bukit, Kampung Seronok and Kampung Binjai - were badly affected.

He said food and emergency aid was being distributed to the villages but “unfortunately Hari Raya preparations for many families have been ruined.”

Syed Amerruddin said he was worried about the noon high tide as the villages were located near the sea.

According to a state Meteorological Department spokesperson, the intermittent heavy rain should clear by Wednesday.

“The heavy shower started at about 10pm on Monday night, causing the flash floods.

“Everything is still under control but we are observing the situation closely, especially Jalan P. Ramlee.

“If the rain continues to be heavy we might announce an evacuation,” he said, adding that the rain affected all areas on the island and mainland.

He said the downpour was the “echo” from the tropical storm in Vietnam.

A North-East district operation centre spokesperson said three relief centres were opened at 8am this morning - SK Francis Light, Methodist Boys School and P. Ramlee auditorium .

On Sept 6, flash floods hit various parts of the state and roads from the city centre to Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau were cut off due to landslides and fallen trees. This followed intermittent moderate to heavy rain.

Among the places flooded then were Bayan Baru, Bukit Mertajam, Taman Siakap in Seberang Jaya and parts of the city centre.

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