Penang floods hit 300 homes

GEORGE TOWN - Residents in several housing areas near here woke up yesterday to waist-high floodwaters.

About 300 homes in the southwest district of the island, including Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas, Teluk Kumbar, Pulau Betong and Balik Pulau, were affected by the floods.

Furniture and household items were seen floating on murky water, while people sought refuge on boats.

Fire and Rescue Department and police teams helped to evacuate residents to a nearby mosque.

Residents said floods were common in their areas during downpour, but the situation had never been this bad.

Housewife Siti Mariam Kassim, 68, said the flash floods yesterday were the worst. "We were getting ready for Aidiladha. Almost all the items we bought for the festivity are gone."

Abdul Hamid Abdul Razak, 58, a retiree, said it was a test of faith for him. "We are saddened by the property loss."

A senior citizen was bitten by a snake while she was wading through the floodwaters.

In the 8am incident, Aishah Ismail, 68, was rushed to Balik Pulau Hospital by rescue officials. She was reported to be in stable condition.

Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhammad Farid Saad distributed hot meals and necessities for the victims at a mosque.

Southwest district police chief Superintendent Mohd Hatta Md Zain said more than 70 people had taken shelter at the Pulau Betong and Teluk Kumbar mosques.