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Cracks in homes force seven Penang families to flee

GEORGE TOWN: Seven families in Hong Seng Estate in Mount Erskine have been asked to evacuate their homes after cracks appeared in their houses following Friday’s downpour.
Consultant engineer Datuk Lim Kok Khong said the incident was caused by severe soil erosion due to water movement under the road and buildings.
“There is also a clear indication from visual inspections that the underground pipe had leaked and water had seeped through the cracks.
“It did not happen immediately but over a period of time.
“Three houses have partially collapsed and the walls are actually held by the roof trusses.
“We need to prop up the affected walls and disconnect their roofs from the other houses to stop the condition from worsening,” he said when met at the site.
Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey said residents of the four badly affected houses would be moving out while the others had been asked to evacuate for their safety.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Government would provide affected residents with temporary shelter.
“I have checked with the Penang Island City Council. No development has been approved at the hilltop,” he said.
Housewife Foo Siew Chu, 50, said she heard cracking sounds in the wee hours on Friday during the downpour.
“Upon checking, I was shocked to see small cracks on the kitchen wall,” she said, adding that she was now staying at her relative’s house.
Her neighbour Yeap Leong Leng, 53, claimed that some time back, several houses also collapsed during heavy rain.
Meanwhile, Penangites affected by the floods on Sept 15 have until Oct 20 to apply for the state government’s one-off RM400 aid.
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