In recent years, urban areas in Penang have increasingly felt the brunt of natural disasters.

Since 2014, there has been a series of flash foods with increasing intensity and fatalities—the worst incident affected the lives of 7,400 people who had to be temporarily displaced, and seven lives were lost in November 2017. Hill sites have seen deadly landslides too. In October 2017, the Granito landslide in Tanjung Bungah claimed 11 deaths. Barely a year later, the Bukit Kukus landslide in Paya Terubong claimed nine lives. In June 2019, yet another landslide occurred at a sloped construction site in Tanjung Bungah, killing four instantly.

Why have the floods and landslides gotten worse?

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Rexy Prakash Chacko

Rexy Prakash Chacko is an engineer by profession, an environmentalist by conviction and a writer by passion. He is the co-founder of the Penang Hills Watch (PHW) initiative and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Penang Green Agenda (PGA). Follow him on Facebook @rexy.prakash