Landslides, floating cars as floods hit Penang

The Permata Sports Complex in Paya Terubong inundated by floodwaters.

BUTTERWORTH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Heavy overnight rains caused severe floods in Penang Friday morning (Sept 15), affecting over 100 homes and cutting off all main routes to the Malaysian island's central business district in Georgetown.

The morning rush hour traffic came to a complete standstill as flood waters rose to chest level, and firemen struggled to secure cars that were seen floating in Bandar Baru Air Itam and Paya Terubong.

Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mohd Azman Hussin said several neighbourhoods were affected by rising waters but so far, no evacuations were necessary.

Meanwhile a landslide at the Kayangan Puri Mutiara apartments in Tanjung Bungah buried six cars but no one was injured.

"We conducted checks on the vehicles and removed fallen trees. No one was trapped," said Mr Mohd Azman.

There were five small landslips on the road up to the Air Itam dam, which has been closed pending repairs and an assessment on road safety.

A woman motorcyclist was feared to have drowned near Jalan Paya Terubong after she was seen falling into a river and being swept away by strong currents. Firemen continue to search for Noor Afidah Yajunas, 30, a factory worker who was riding home after working the night shift.

"We couldn't do anything because the currents were so powerful," said a motorcyclist who did not wish to be named.

The flood waters have begun subsiding in most areas, such as in Bayan Baru, Paya Terubong, and in Bandar Baru Ayer Itam.

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