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Guan Eng: Penang’s unusual rainfall likely due to Typhoon Damrey

 | November 5, 2017

Penang Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers slams Meteorological Department for late warning on heavy rainfall.

guan-eng-penang-floodGEORGE TOWN: The major floods in Penang, which have claimed three lives so far, were a result of excessive rain recorded in the state over the last 15 hours, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

He said the equivalent of one-and-a-half months’ of rain was recorded in Penang in less than 24 hours.

This was likely due to the effects of Typhoon Damrey which had wreaked havoc in Vietnam, he added.

Lim said Butterworth recorded 372mm of rain last night — the highest on record in the state. The previous highest recorded rainfall was 315mm at the Air Itam Dam not long ago.

“I am made to understand that Penang is experiencing the effects of Typhoon Damrey, which has caused havoc in Vietnam and killed nearly 20 people there.

“The Meteorological Department has given a ‘red alert’ notice for Penang and Kedah.

“We are deeply sorry to hear three people have died and we are also sad to hear about the damage caused to properties,” he said at a press conference today.

Lim hoped employers would be flexible with their staff members affected by the floods and give them time to clean up their homes.

“All the state’s agencies are helping to restore all the affected places to normal, especially secondary schools, to allow students to sit for their SPM exam,” Lim said.

Lim said nearly 100 areas in the state had been hit by flash floods. Fallen trees had also wreaked havoc in many areas.

State flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the situation was made worse by the high tide as most rivers and drains could not cope with the high volume of water.

He said the highest rainfall recorded was in North Seberang Perai district at 372mm, followed by Central Seberang Perai (327mm), Northeast (289mm), Southwest (237mm) and South Seberang Perai (165mm).

“Most of the drains and rivers could not cope with the excess flow of rainwater.

“A lot of the drains and rivers are blocked with rubbish, which is one of the common reasons why our rivers could not cope,” Chow said.

Meanwhile, the Penang Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has slammed the Meteorological Department for issuing what it claimed was a late warning about heavy rainfall in the state.

Penang FMM chairperson Ooi Eng Hock said the Meteorological Department only issued the warning on its website at 9.30pm last night.

“What is the use of issuing such a warning at night when the heavy rainfall started early in the morning?

“Didn’t the department forecast heavy rainfall coming to the area due to a tropical storm?

“Is our meteorological radar equipment so backdated that we cannot forecast this bad weather affecting our country?” Malaysiakini reported him as saying.

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