GEORGE TOWN - Several roads in Penang island's main tourist belt of Batu Ferringhi were flooded on Monday (July 18) and the state's international airport was also inundated as heavy rains lashed the northern Malaysian island.
Parts of Batu Ferringhi and the Teluk Bahang areas were evacuated due to "severe flash floods", New Straits Times newspaper reported on its website on Monday.
Several houses were under water due to the heavy thunderstorm that began at about 3pm, the report said. "We will deploy as many boats as necessary to help the residents," a Civil Defence Department spokesman was quoted as saying.
The Batu Ferringhi beachfront contains a thick concentration of international hotels and tall condominiums, along with clusters of villages in some corners.
Photos posted on the Facebook account of Penang MP and Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya showed brown water going up to the knees of residents standing in the middle of the road in the area.
Some were helping to push cars stranded by the floods.
Meanwhile, tourists had to lug their heavy bags through water at the Penang International Airport as the arrival hall was flooded, The Star newspaper reported.
Flights in and out of Penang were unaffected, the paper said.
American Trisha Goulding, 29, said it was inconvenient to trudge around with her bags in flood waters.
"We had to circle in the air for a while before landing," she said.
A Tourism Malaysia staff told The Star: "The waters were less than 0.3m in here, but rose quite high in the waiting area outside."