Penang airport hall flooded after downpour

GEORGE TOWN - The arrival hall of the Penang International Airport was flooded during a downpour that lasted for about half an hour.

The arrival hall, which is located on the lower level of the airport building, was flooded at about 3.30pm yesterday after water started flowing in from the taxi lanes outside.

Passengers and visitors had to walk on the slippery and watery floor of the area.

Airport senior manager Mohd Ariff Jaafar said no flights were affected.

"I was told by the state Meteorological Department that 58.2mm of rainfall was recorded in 20 minutes, which was very unusual compared to the usual rainfall of between 10mm and 15mm," he said yesterday.

Mohd Ariff said airport workers cleared up the mess immediately after the incident happened.

Among other areas that suffered flash floods were Lebuh Nipah in Sungai Nibong and the Free Industrial Zone (Phase One) in Bayan Lepas.

A check on the Malaysia Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) flood portal showed that the Sungai Ara station in the south-west district of Penang recorded 44mm of rainfall yesterday, which was classified as "heavy".

State Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mohd Azman Hussin said the department did not receive any emergency calls from the public.

Sensible and Ethical Malaysian United Team (Semut) president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan said the state government should seriously look into the floods in Penang.

He urged local councils to clean up clogged drains more often to prevent floods.

Penang Local Government, Traffic Manage­ment and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state DID had commissioned a drainage plan for the south-west district, which includes the Penang International Airport.

"The final report will be ready by the end of this month.

"DID will then forward the report to the airport authorities to implement the flood mitigation plan for the airport area," he said.