Flash floods hit Penang: Firemen’s quick action saves elderly woman from drowning

Fire and Rescue Department personnel provide assistance to residents during a flood in Penang May 17, 2020. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama
Fire and Rescue Department personnel provide assistance to residents during a flood in Penang May 17, 2020. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama

BALIK PULAU, May 17 — Quick action by firemen saved an elderly woman who nearly drowned after she was trapped in her house which was hit by a flash flood in Jalan Sungai Pinang here today.

A spokesman for the Penang Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) said he received an emergency call at 12.47 pm informing that a 78-year-old woman who had been trapped in her home, after flood waters inundated the family’s house.

“Heavy rainfall since 10 am caused more than 10 houses in the area, including the senior citizen’s home to be flooded due to flash floods, resulting in the overflow of the drainage system and was further aggravated by high tides.

“The water level was almost a metre deep and we managed to get the victim to a safer place. We also monitored until the flood waters receded, which is about 2.40 pm,” the spokesperson said here today.

Apart from this area, several locations in Balik Pulau were struck by flash floods such as Taman Nelayan Kampung Sungai Pinang, Kampung Sungai Rusa, Taman Manggis ,Bukit Kechil and Kampung Air Putih involving more than 30 houses.

However, so far no one has been evacuated to a temporary evacuation centre, because the flood waters which was up to between 0.1 and 0.6 metre receded by 4 pm, the spokesman said.

The flash floods also caused several roads around Balik Pulau to be closed to vehicles.

A Balik Pulau flood victim, Mohd Noor Jusoh, 63, said their homes were inundated with water mixed with mud after more than two hours of rain in the area and he and his family were unable to salvage any of their belongings, including electrical appliances because the water rose quickly.

“It rained heavily today, my wife and I were in the kitchen, and all of a sudden the water seeped into the house in the living room and started rising very quickly. I could not save anything because the water rose up to a metre, we went out and kept moving to higher ground,” he said.

The spokesman, meanwhile, said heavy rain from 2 pm to 4 pm had also caused several areas in Simpang Ampat, Nibong Tebal and Batu Kawan to be hit by lightning floods of up to 0.1-0.3 metres.

Heavy rain between 65-97 mm in a short time had caused Sungai Baong to overflow, causing flash floods in the surrounding areas.

“Some areas, especially roads have been flooded and so far nearly 20 houses in Kampung Sungai Baong, Kampung Valdor, Kampung Masjid Baru and Taman Lima Kongsi have been hit by flash floods, but no one has been evacuated so far,” he said. — Bernama

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