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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Storm-hit temple has to go

THE Sri Aluvang Muneeswarar Temple in Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Penang, is on the verge of collapse following the 15-hour storm which hit the northern region states on Nov 4 and 5.

Temple chairman A. Sathasivam said huge cracks can be seen at the base of the temple, which is located about 2m high from the beach.

“The temple cannot be repaired. It has to be demolished and rebuilt again.

“Erosion took place underneath the temple in the early hours of Nov 5 after the downpour, causing the huge cracks.

“The temple is in a dangerous condition as the cracks may continue to spread.

“It could collapse at anytime if there is another downpour with strong winds,” he said in an interview yesterday.

The Sri Aluvang Muneeswarar Temple building in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, is declared unsafe following structural damage sustained in the 15-hour storm.
The Sri Aluvang Muneeswarar Temple building in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, is declared unsafe following structural damage sustained in the 15-hour storm.

Sathasivam said the high tide also brought in waves that splashed in between the cracks in the building.

Sathasivam said the temple rebuilding could cost more than RM100,000 as the soil had to be checked again and a stronger concrete base be built to hold the structure.

He said artisans from India would also have to be brought in to design the building.

Sathasivam said the temple underwent the consecration ceremony four years ago and that was when the current temple building was constructed, which cost about RM100,000.

“It is not auspicious for a temple to have cracks.

“We will start moving the statues to a temporary location from today, and the demolition works are expected to start by next week,” he said.

Sathasivam (left) with vice-chairman M. Thiagarajan showing a section of the temple flooring that caved in during the storm. — Photos: GOH GAIK LEE/The Star
Sathasivam (left) with vice-chairman M. Thiagarajan showing a section of the temple flooring that caved in during the storm. — Photos: GOH GAIK LEE/ The Star

He said the temple, believed to have been established over a century ago, is well-known among locals and foreigners.

“It could be among the oldest in the area.”

Sathasivam added that the temple only used to have three tridents in the past, but it now has the statues of Muneeswarar, Madurai Veeran, Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha.

Sathasivam added that the temple committee has enough funds for only the maintenance of the temple and hopes that it can obtain contributions from the public and the state government to rebuild the building.

He said the committee had also contacted Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy for help and would be meeting him tomorrow.

Those who wish to contribute, can contact Sathasivam (016-4954898) or M. Thiagarajan (012-4509456).