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The Star Online

Supermoon causes two king tides in Malaysia

Lower tides expected next week with third quarter moon set to occur

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 11:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 11:04am

Penang, Malaysia experienced two extreme high tides around midnight and again at noon yesterday, said Penang Astronomical Society president Dr Chong Hon Yew.

The exceptionally high tides were due to the perigee-syzygy phenomenon, also known as a supermoon.

“The king tide is caused by the combined gravitational attraction of the moon and the sun on the water in Earth’s ocean,” Dr Chong said.

He said at around midnight, the total gravitational force from the moon, which was vertically overhead, and the sun below created the king tide.

The same thing happened at midday when the sun was vertically overhead and the moon was below, with the total gravitational force causing the second king tide.

“Six hours before and after each king tides occurred, we experienced exceptionally low tides,” he said.

These exceptionally high and low tides will continue for the next few days.

Dr Chong added that there would be lower tides on Nov 21, when a third quarter moon is set to occur.

Some 20 houses in Kampung Manis, Prai, were flooded due to the king tide phenomenon between 1am and 3am yesterday.

Penang Civil Defence Department director Pang Ah Lek said floodwaters in the village reached up to 0.45m.

“Sungai Perai overflowed after a 3.1m-high tide. The village is situated on a low-lying area near the river.

“However, no evacuation centres were opened,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

Over at the Esplanade, the situation was generally calm despite high water levels after midnight yesterday.

People were seen enjoying hawker food at Weld Quay, where most of the Clan Jetties are located.

Several villages on the mainland were also flooded after a downpour on Monday.

The affected villages were Kam­pung Tok Konan, Kampung Haji Musa, Kampung Manggis, Kampung Bukit Teh and Taman Jambu in Bukit Mertajam, and Kampung Nenas in Sungai Kechil, Nibong Tebal.

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