Over 200 affected in Bukit Mertajam floods

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A downpour this morning in Bukit Mertajam caused at least four villages and three residential areas to be hit with flash floods.

The record rainfall of over 120mm was three times the usual rainfall recorded in the district.

At least 200 people were affected by the floods at the largely rural frontiers of the Penang-Kedah border in the east with waters reaching at least 0.5 metres in the Machang Bubok area in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

The affected areas were Kampung Tok Musa, Taman Seri Janggus, Taman Impian, Bukit Teh and Taman Sejahtera, said Penang infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, who oversaw the flood mitigation efforts.

He said the Machang Bubok station recorded the highest rainfall at 127.5mm, causing Sungai Junjung to flood its banks. He said the tributary of Sungai Kulim, which originates from Kedah, had sent a torrent of waters west to Penang, causing the flash floods.

Zairil said the river rose close to 4m last night, before plateauing at 2.1m at 1am this morning. The danger level of the river is reported to be 3.7m.

State welfare committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said a relief centre was activated at the Bukit Teh MPKK Hall at 10.30pm yesterday with six families comprising 21 people moved there. The centre was closed at 9am today as floodwaters receded.

Meanwhile, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim and Machang Bubok assemblyman Lee Khai Loon waded into the floodwaters to hand out warm meals consisting 600 packets of burgers, fried rice and noodles to the victims from late last night.

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In a Facebook post, Lee hoped an earlier RM10 million pledged for a study of the Machang Bubok-Kulim Bandar Baharu flood mitigation project would be carried out as soon as possible.

He said the sum was allocated by the previous Pakatan Harapan government and hoped the present government would consider carrying it out so that flash floods can be avoided in the Machang Bubok area. – FMT