Flood & Things

Last weekend, several states in Malaysia were hit by the worst flood in decades, including my hometown Kelantan (Kota Bharu town, to be exact).

My house was fortunately spared from the flood but a lot of my relatives' houses and shops were badly damaged. On the first few days, I was very anxious and nervous while reading and looking the FB feeds, every Refresh or F5 came a new update on the water level, new pictures of affected places, even places I(we) never thought the water would go ever. At the same time, it was Christmas and the feeds were very much contradicting to each other as it was a mix between the flood and Christmas celebration.

When the flooding went from bad to worse, I asked my sis "is the flood this time worse than the '04?" She said yes, and I shuddered.

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Back in 2004, Kelantan was hit by a massive flood, it was the worst one in 10 years. I was back at home that time, semester break I think, so I got to hang around. I went to grandpa's stationery shop to help move things when the flood was predicted to come; I went to grandma's place to help move things when the flood slowly came, and I walked around town with cousins and friends to 'observe water' 看水*.

* 看水 "observe water" is some kind of 'activity' that us (if not all) do when the river level rises. We go to the riverside, or certain flooding area to watch the water level. When the flood comes, and if it is not life-threateningly dangerous, us friends and cousins will have this gathering to parade around town, in water. We pretty much do nothing but just to walk in the water. A week before the flood, when there was a forecast flood might come, my friend Min Shin asked me if I'm going back to 'play water', and I told Hon about it, and he cannot comprehend, so do a lot of my other friends.

In front of grandpa's shop in Jalan Sri Cemerlang, beside Four Seasons Restaurant.

When the photos were up on Friendster, my friends were like "how come you guys look so happy? Flood is a disaster, isn't it?"

Yeah, 那些船是要拖去卖的 the boats were meant to be sold to people who was interested. We paraded the town while dragging the boats.

When the water subsided, here came the biggest headache - the cleaning part. No one expected the flood would come in such a volume, so there's a lot of damaged goods and stuff. For the next 1-2 days of cleaning, I was literally a mud woman.

I also had my own first-hand flood experience during the Kangar big flood in 2010. Everytime I think about the aftermath it still scares me.

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This time around, I wasn't around to witness the flood. There's constant heavy rain, and there's fear flood will(would) come. Few friends asking me about it and I didn't know. I asked my mom about it, and mom said 'watch TV3 or Awani news' -_-. Then the flood came. My sis constantly uploaded pictures on our WhatsApp group, friends updating their FB feeds every second, which friend's house was affected, which road was affected, even the road to the airport also flooded! It was very kan cheong!

Every time my friends ask me if my house is flooded, I would just tell them my house is at higher ground, if my house kena then whole KB town will be underwater. This time, whole KB was really underwater! Luckily, that housing land still stand strong, no water in the drain even.

However, not so much luck for others. Take my grandma's house in Chekok, Pasir Mas for example.

The red cross is my grandma's house, and the river is about 500m away from the house. I'm not sure about elevation, but the house is at a higher ground, about 2-3m above the river surface level.

The house is the traditional high rise wooden house, those built with hard, very good quality wood. The distance from the ground to the floor of the house is about my shoulder's height, 1.40m approximately.


It's almost my height + my arm stretch up
Front door
Wooden shack next to the house

Living area
Front yard - look at the mud!!
(editted out my cousin's and his boys' face just in case)
According to my sis, the cleaning is in process and the mud is the biggest challenge of all. She asks us not to go back for gotong-royong yet just in case there's second wave OMiGawd!!!

I can't even imagine how is it like in Kuala Krai, especially Manek Urai. It breaks my heart.

As for the government, 'Wrong to blame floods only on illegal logging' my ass, just don't say another word anymore and go help your people!


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