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Freak storm lashes Penang

Rough weather: Large waves hitting two people by the sea at Tanjung Tokong, Penang.


June, 2007

Last Tuesday, UNUSUALLY strong winds wreaked havoc in Penang and parts of Kedah, toppling trees, blowing off roofs, capsizing boats and forcing four flights to be diverted from the international airport in Bayan Lepas. The winds peaked at Bayan Lepas at 43 knots per hour while it reached 32 knots per hour in Alor Star. The normal wind speed at these places is between five and 20 knots per hour. Giant waves of up to 2m high hit the sea wall at the Esplanade in George Town before pounding onto cars parked along the road. Some tiles and a metal railing along the sea wall were dislodged by the might of the waves. A 10m stretch of the concrete path near the Astaka Medan Renong food court there was broken by the pounding waves. At Pantai Bersih in Butterworth, fishermen said 3m-high waves caused more destruction than the 2004 tsunami, with 14 boats damaged compared to one during the tsunami. At least four of the five restaurants along the beach were damaged by the waves. In Kedah, five fishermen from a boat that capsized 2km off Tanjung Dawai were rescued, while two more fishermen had to be rescued from a capsized fishing boat off Batu Ferringhi on Penang island.

Freak Waves/Unusual Tides
MALDIVES - Last week was the second time in six weeks the Maldives has experienced extensive flooding. Sea wall defences, constructed for millions of dollars, have been destroyed on islands in both cases. And on Wednesday, the 20th, the entire population of seventy three islanders on Hathifushi in Haa Daal had to be evacuated. High seas and rains flooded over thirty islands in the north of the Maldives in three days, the affected atolls have reported no further flooding since Thursday. Every inhabited island in Haa Aliff was flooded at some point last week. Raa is the most recently effected atoll with eight islands flooded on Thursday by rainwater alone, without waves breaking onto the islands.
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