Source: ©loeskieboom/123RF.COM

Flooding is the most common major disaster in most countries around the world. In Malaysia, major floods are normally found during the early phase of the northeast monsoon (NEM) from November to January. Past years of major floods occurred in 1971, 2006–2007, 2014–2015, 2017, and 2018. Unexpected extreme rain events from mid-December 2021 to early 2022 have caused massive flooding in seven states in Malaysia, killing 54 people, affecting over 125,000 people, with nearly 70,000 evacuated in a single day, and costing up to MYR 6.1 billion (USD 1.46 billion)[1]

More recently, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage’s (DID) National Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre issued notices and warning of possible flash floods in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Perak, Pahang, and Penang.

In Penang, the areas at risk of flooding are South Seberang Prai district, Bandar Nibong Tebal, including Mukim 11, Mukim 7, Mukim 1, and the surrounding areas.[2] Other 34 areas in mainland Penang were also hit by flash floods in November 2022, with a temporary evacuation centre set up at the True Light Chinese primary school in Juru Village to accommodate the flood victims.[3]

Such flood events inevitably cause psychological effects on the victims – anxiety about the flood happening again, physical tiredness from having to clean and repair their homes, feelings of discomfort, inadequate supplies of food and equipment, human conflicts, overcrowding, loss of property and loved ones.

In response to flood occurrences in Penang, major entities such as the Penang State Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS), the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP), and the City Council of Penang Island (MBPP), have taken several steps. For instance, 25 siren stations have been installed throughout Penang’s flood-prone areas (JPS) as part of the Joint Protection Scheme. Eleven of these are located on the island, with the remaining 14 on the mainland. Water-level sensors were installed by MBPP in 10 flood-prone areas, while MPSP installed water-level monitoring and alert warning systems in 12 pump houses[4]

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said, “the Penang government has directed local authorities and departments to ensure the drainage system is in order in preparation for the northeast monsoon season. Penangites should play their part too by not throwing rubbish into rivers and drains”.



[1] Yi Lin Tew; Mou Leong Tan,  Liew Juneng, Kwok Pan Chun,  Mohamad Hafiz, H;  Sazali, O; Narimah S.,  Chun Kiat Chang 5 & Muhammad H. K. Rapid extreme tropical precipitation and flood inundation mapping

framework (RETRACE): Initial testing for the 2021–2022 Malaysia Flood.

[2] Bernama, DID issues flash flood readiness notice for six states. Dec 12, 2022. Retrieved from

[3] Predeep, N. (2022). Flash floods hit 34 areas of Penang after heavy rain. Retrieved from

[4] Ridzuan, M. R., Razali, J. R., Soon-Yew, J., Rahman, N. A. S. A., & Lai-Kuan, K. (2022). The disaster-resilient smart city in Malaysia: The use of technology in flood management. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 12(11), 129 – 140.