Seberang Perai Utara is the worst-hit flood area in Penang following strong winds and heavy rain for more than 15 hours from 2pm yesterday, said a senior state police officer.
State Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department chief Mohamad Anil Shah Abdullah said 2,588 flood victims in the district had been evacuated to 19 temporary flood relief centres as of 1pm today.
“In addition, the Seberang Perai Tengah, Seberang Perai Selatan, Timur Laut and Barat Daya districts also experienced floods, but the condition in the four districts are not as bad as in Seberang Perai Utara.
“Currently, there are 291 flood victims in the temporary flood relief centres in Timur Laut, 379 in Barat Daya, 500 in Tengah and 25 victims in Selatan,” he said today.
He added 1,200 police officers and policemen were on duty 24-hours a day from yesterday and their leave was frozen to ensure smooth operations to rescue and assist flood victims.
Mohamad Anil Shah said police were using all its available logistics and also obtained the use of lorries, boats and land rovers from neighbouring contingents to meet the need in Penang.
After obtaining information on the bad weather conditions, he said the police immediately took measures to work with several other government agencies to assist, rescue and relocate flood victims.
He said it was the priority of the police to ensure flood victims were rescued quickly and evacuated to safe locations and to control the traffic to avoid congestion.
“In addition, the public, especially flood victims, don’t have to worry because we station policemen at temporary flood relief centres and conduct regular patrols in the affected areas to prevent crimes,” he said.
He said the public were advised not to panic and comply with the directives of the police to avoid any untoward incidents.
“Residents whose houses are inundated by flood water must call the police so that we can evacuate them. The police have also opened an operation room for 24 hours a day in the five affected areas to help the victims,” he said.
Currently, Mohamad Anil Shah said several routes were still closed to traffic after water rose up to 0.5 metres including on the island, namely, Jalan P Ramlee, Jalan Patani and Jalan Perak, Lebuh Kampung Jawa and Jalan Mahsuri.
He said the roads closed in Seberang Perai Utara were Jalan Paku Lima, Jalan Kampung Perlis, Jalan Bertam Perdana, Jalan Bertam Indah and Jalan Jelawat.
“Meanwhile, several other routes are also closed due to landslides and fallen trees including on the island, namely, Jalan Tun Sardon-Balik Pulau, Jalan Bukit Jambul, Jalan Sungai Pinang-Titi Kerawang and Jalan Assumption in Butterworth," he said.
Almost the whole of Penang was inundated by floods from 0.2 metres to one metre high and dozens of trees toppled after heavy rain and strong winds since 2pm yesterday. The rain dragged on until 5am today.
All the districts in Penang were inundated when the continuous rain caused river water to rise and collide with the high tide, forcing water to overflow rapidly.