No Christmas celebration this year, bemoan flood victims

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

HULU LANGAT – “I am sad not to be able to go to church and pray for Christmas this time. All my preparations are gone. No food for the festival and no money,” laments Rita Asogan, a flood victim in Jalan Delima, Taman Sri Nanding here, today.

According to Rita, 34, a few days before the floods, she and her family had already made all their preparations to celebrate Christmas.

“We have prepared the food and clothes. We also received presents from our friends a few days earlier.

“But when there was the flood, everything was destroyed. We couldn’t save anything,” she said when met by Bernama at her home.

Recalling the unfortunate incident on Saturday (Dec 18), she said that they did not expect the water to rise so quickly but they did manage to store household appliances at a higher level.

“In the past, if it rained for four days, our house would be flooded but not as bad.  This time it was different, At about 8pm, the water rose so quickly. And two hours later, flood water had raised almost as high as the roof,” she said.

Realising that the situation was getting worse, her husband, Sivarajan Nadarajah, 34, said they had to look for a safer area and together with the neighbours, they decided to go to a construction site behind the housing area.

“We went up to the second floor of the still-under-construction house. With us were a baby and a senior citizen. We were all feeling cold and hungry but help never came. The rescuers said they did not know that we had moved further back from the house.

“We decided to use all our energy to walk in the flood water and rain to go to a petrol station located along the main road to ask for help. The community here was helping each other as if we were one family,” he said, praising the community who continued to help each other irrespective of religion or race.

In the spirit of Christmas, Rita said that today they received more help from the Petaling Jaya church community, who helped them clean the house.

Normally on Christmas day, Rita and her husband would go to church to pray, and later organise a feast for the neighbours.

“Last year we celebrated Christmas in moderation because of COVID-19. This year, it was the floods. So today, we have no plans. Everyone is busy. Everyone is sad,” she said.