Thursday, January 14, 2021

Fording the floods in Pahang

Each year, monsoon rains pound the east coast forcing the evacuation of thousands as floods leave vehicles, roads and even houses underwater. But residents have described this year's flooding as the worst in half a century with tens of thousands evacuated in Pahang alone.

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Soon, the rising water level leaves roads such as this impassable.

Vehicles such as this four-wheel drive are needed to ford such roads once they become swamped with water.

The floods wash through entire towns, leaving houses at least partially submerged in murky water.

Mohd Zulkifli Omar moves some of his belongings to higher ground at his home in Kampung Lubuk Kulit, Kuala Lipis.

Elsewhere in the village, residents paddle their way through the water in simple boats.

In Kampung Kelola, Jerantut, about 20 families were left stranded after the floods cut off access to their village. Their community leaders head out by boat to collect donated food and other forms of aid to bring back to the waiting villagers.

Volunteer Md Saufian Yahya Arif has been bringing aid to those left stranded by floods for 20 years now and this year is no different. His four-wheel drive loaded to the brim, he makes his way to the flood victims in Kuala Lipis.

In Jerantut, other volunteers unload bottles of fresh water for the flood victims.

Fresh food such as these eggs are especially welcomed by the villagers who have been cut off from outside contact for days.

Members of the 91st Royal Army Engineers Regiment meanwhile help construct a temporary bridge for residents in Taman Perumahan Lecha, Raub.

For those who have been evacuated, small orange tents become their temporary homes at relief centres such as this one in Kuala Lipis.

There’s not much space, but enough to ensure that even here, Covid-19 SOPs can be followed.

For others like Mohamad Anasar Kamarozaman, days of hard work await as they clean their homes and salvage what they can of their belongings.

Siti Hawa Mansor hangs clothes, blankets and mats out to dry at her home in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub.

Villagers in Kampung Kelola who have just returned from temporary relief shelters wash away the mud left behind by the receding floods.

It’s a mess outdoors as well, with even large trees uprooted and vehicles damaged.

Mechanic Ah Kee separates damaged tools from the rest at his shop in Benta.

But it may take a while for them to get this car down from where it was washed by the floods.

In Benta, flood waters have inflicted heavy damage on these cars.

In fact, it has left heavy damage everywhere including the home of Mohamad Anasar Kamarozaman in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub.

But at the end of the day, home is still home no matter how long it takes to get things back to normal.

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