Govt agencies and volunteers rescue thousands of victims

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FEDERAL and state agencies have been working since Saturday to alleviate the flood situation that had struck many parts of the country at once.

One such agency is the Malaysian Armed Force (MAF), whose personnel and assets began mobilising as soon as the severity of the flooding became clear.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the mobilisation involved helping flood victims in Selangor, especially in Klang, Sepang, Damansara and Bukit Lanchong, some of the earliest to feel the brunt of flood waters on Sunday.

“Personnel and assets from the 11th and 12th Brigades are on the ground aiding flood victims there.

“At the same time, the MAF is preparing to expand relief operations to other areas that are potentially badly affected,” he said.

On Sunday alone, Malaysian emergency services rescued 21,000 people in seven states.

According to Reuters, more than 66,000 police, army and Fire and Rescue Department personnel were mobilised to help pluck people from vehicles marooned in flood waters or from inundated streets outside their homes.

As rescue operations continue, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in Selangor, one of the hardest hit states, 15,000 people had been evacuated to more than 100 temporary evacuation centres (TECs).

Flood evacuee Muhammad Aliff Aiman, 22, at the Klang TEC said the PM’s visit and concern for flood victims was much appreciated.

“The flood happened suddenly and we didn’t know what to do,” he said. “Our family’s house is gone and our belongings are gone in the flood. We are living in the TEC, and we are uncertain if we can return home anytime soon.”

Aliff said during his evacuation, he saw that many people in the area had been displaced and that people were anxious and worried.

“We didn’t know where to go, and we are afraid that the flood will come again. When my family and I arrived at the TEC, we found that there were many others like us, and that everyone feared the uncertainty and fear that came with the floods.”

In regard to the conditions at TEC, Aliff is grateful that the Ismail Sabri has taken notice and is working hard to improve the situation.

“I am very happy that the PM had visited the flood victims and that he is doing everything possible to help us. Aside from the material aid, his presence and words of encouragement are a great morale booster for us.”

Aliff explained despite the short stay, the PM did his best to listen and understand the situation faced by flood victims, and he had promised to look into the matter.

“I hope that this will be followed up with concrete action and that the government will work harder to help those affected by the flood.”

Aliff also hopes that the PM will continue visiting the flood victims and that he will be able to provide them with more support during these trying times.

The 22-year-old is one of many flood victims in the Klang Valley and he believes that the PM should be commended for his efforts in helping flood victims.