by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA
CHUKAI – “In a little while the water will recede, we are tired of the flood situation.”
This is one of the reasons given by some of the residents when the rescue team asked them to move much earlier to the temporary evacuation centre.
Making their own predictions not only leads to the disruption of rescue operations, but the victims who were advised to evacuate during the day end up asking for help late at night or early in the morning, when it was difficult to get them out to a safe location.
Terengganu Zone 2 Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) chief Azman Alias said when water rises and overflows, it is difficult to distinguish between ditches and drains and operations become more dangerous in the dark.
“We are aware that some residents here have moved twice (during floods in December) and are not comfortable being in the evacuation centre but for safety’s sake it is better to leave the house during the day.
“Firemen sometimes have to visit the same house two or three times… when trapped, residents panic and ask to be immediately rescued,” he told Bernama when inspecting the flood situation in several villages here.
Meanwhile, in the operation from 11 pm to 4 am this morning, a woman who was still in confinement with a 35-day-old baby was rescued following the water rising up to chest level.
The victim, Suhana Mat Sohor, 40, said she and her 11 family members were determined to move when the water started rising swiftly and entered the house at midnight.
“I did not expect the water to rise so quickly. Just managed to take only important items and documents … even did not have time to take my socks. In 2017, I spend my confinement at a relief centre when I gave birth to my fourth child, I never expected to be in the same situation for my fifth child,” said Suhana who lives in Kampung Tempurung here.
Besides Suhana, her mother Rahmah Sulong, 76, who has vision and hearing problems and is unable to walk was also assisted by firemen early this morning.
As of 10am, Kemaman district recorded the highest number of flood victims in Terengganu at 5,368 people from 1,296 families in 21 evacuation centres
The overall number of victims was 6,511 people from 1,623 families in 35 relief centres.