BUTTERWORTH, Nov 6 2017 : Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today visited the flood-hit areas in Penang, describing the floods as the worst in history.
He arrived at the Butterworth Air Force Base at 10.20 am, and was met by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Lim was seen hugging Zahid when the latter alighted from the helicopter which brought him to Penang.
Zahid then visited the evacuation centre in Guar Perahu in Permatang Pauh, where he spent time talking to the 365 flood victims there.
Later, Zahid visited the evacuation centres at Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Menora in Tasek Gelugor.
Many parts of Penang were hit by floods with water in some areas reaching 0.2 to one meter high, strong winds and heavy rain, up till 2 pm on Thursday, felling dozens of trees.
To date, the floods have claimed seven lives.
In Kepala Batas, Zahid said he wants 100 per cent preparedness in the early evacuation of flood victims to face the second and third wave of weather change which is expected to persist until next February.
Zahid said all data on weather forecast obtained from the Meteorological Department would be fully utilised to enable all those to be affected to be evacuated by one week earlier before heavy rain or strong winds occur.
“What’s happening in Penang is a lesson, not aim at pointing fingers but when the Meteorological Department can provide weather forecast results much earlier, then efforts to evacuate can be made. All of this data is new technology and which, if it not utilised, then preparation cannot be done.
“As such, as the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, I will use the method of the Kemamam Floods Management Plan as it predicts a week before it occurs. The physical evacuation is done three days before it occurs,” he told a media conference after visiting the temporary relief centre in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bertam Indah. – Bernama