Floods kill 2 in Penang and Kedah; other states put on watch

Floodwaters in Kampung Makam in Penang. A 42-year-old man died after he slipped into the Prai River in mainland Penang and drowned.
Floodwaters in Kampung Makam in Penang. A 42-year-old man died after he slipped into the Prai River in mainland Penang and drowned.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN • Rising waters from rivers in Penang swamped more than 100 houses after a six-hour downpour on Sunday, as the Malaysian authorities warned that several areas in four other states are in danger of being flooded during the annual rainy season.

The floods claimed their first victims this year on Sunday, one of whom drowned in Penang and the other in Kedah.

The heavy rains bringing floods to Penang for the fifth time in three weeks inundated areas on both the northern island and in Butterworth town on mainland Penang, as overflowing rivers burst their banks.

Malaysia's Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) over the weekend issued warnings of possible flooding in areas in Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and Perlis states, amid the ongoing monsoon season.

Pictures in the media showed residents wading in ankle- to knee-deep waters in their homes or on the streets in Penang and Kedah.

In Taman Bunga Raya in Butterworth, a family mourning the death of an 86-year-old relative had to move the coffin to a higher table due to the rising floodwaters.

Some 200 fishermen near Tasek Gelugor in the mainland complained that the wetter-than-usual rainy season is affecting their livelihood as they cannot go out to sea. Sungai Korok and Air Hitam Fishmermen Cooperative chairman Ramli Hashim said: "The rainy season has affected their catch as the strong river current is dangerous to small boats."

He added that the wet spell this year is the worst in recent years.

Meanwhile, residents of Gerik town in northern Perak woke up on Sunday to the worst flooding in 20 years.

In mainland Penang on Sunday, a 42-year-old man died after he slipped into the Prai River and drowned.

In Baling town in Kedah, the body of Mr Darul Hafiz Mohd Danial, 23, was found floating at the foot of the staircase of his house. He had earlier helped his paralysed grandmother escape the rising waters by lifting her to another floor.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Floods kill 2 in Penang and Kedah; other states put on watch'. Print Edition | Subscribe