GEORGE TOWN – The Penang Hill funicular service will be closed for a month for recovery and restoration work due to the extreme weather conditions since last Saturday.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Penang Hill has been affected by the aftermath of the recent extreme weather conditions with 68 incidences of landslides, rockfalls, fallen trees and branches along the railway track, jeep track and also on the summit area.
“This is unprecedented, never happened before. Penang is unfortunate indeed to be hit not just by the Damrey typhoon that hit Vietnam but unexpected fierce 40 miles per hour winds that had never seen before in Malaysia as well as heavy rain and floods in Kedah.
“Hopefully the recovery and restoration work can be done within a month…hopefully before Christmas,” he told a press conference, at Penang Hill here today.
Almost the whole of Penang was affected by floods following gale-force winds and heavy rain that struck the state from last Saturday, prompting Lim to appeal for federal assistance.
The floods claimed seven lives, and the wind and rain damaged property and uprooted trees in several areas.
Lim said recovery and restoration works would focus on three main areas such as the funicular track, summit and the jeep track from the Botanic Gardens.
He said so far 36 landslide locations had been identified on the summit affecting roads and by-paths on the summit and four landslides as well as fallen trees and branches had also been identified along the rail track that resulted in the disruption of train operations.
“It is estimated that recovery work including resumption of train operations will be take about three to four weeks which include track clearance, replacement of funicular system related components and getting funicular system back on line,” he said.
Lim also assured water supply and electricity supply to certain areas will be fully restored by next week.
He said Penang Hill Corporation is appealing for volunteers to assist in clearance work and those interested can email at [email protected] or call 04-8288880 or walk in to the Penang Hill Corporation’s office at Level 7, Bangunan Perbadanan Bukit Bendera, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera. – BERNAMA