After biggest floods in 40 years, massive clean-up begins

A man sits on a boat in a flood affected area in Temerloh, December 7, 2013. Four states in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia have been affected by the annual monsoon floods. — Reuters pic
A man sits on a boat in a flood affected area in Temerloh, December 7, 2013. Four states in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia have been affected by the annual monsoon floods. — Reuters pic

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KEMAMAN. Dec 16 — The floods have receded after Kemaman was inundated for days by what residents called the biggest floods in over 40 years.

A total of 13,237 people throughout Terengganu were evacuated from Dec 3 but those who still have homes have since returned.

They now face the daunting task of cleaning their houses of the silt and mud left behind by floodwaters and sorting out their possessions which can be salvaged.

For days, mounds of clothes, furniture and household items lined the streets of Terengganu, waiting to be carried off by local council workers who had to resort to backhoes and dump trucks to cart off the tons of rubbish.

Outside car workshops and service centres, rows of cars were seen waiting to be cleaned out and repaired while police closed an eye to vehicles driven around without number plates washed away by the floods.

Many buildings have had their electricity and water restored but still bear stains on their walls, and sometimes roofs, which show how high the water levels rose this year.

But despite all this, the people of Terengganu have remained resolute, particularly in villages, and have come to each other’s aid to overcome the damage wrought by this year’s floods.

Help also came from all across the country, most noticeably from four-wheel drive car clubs whose members were often seen braving flooded roads to send aid to some of the more isolated villages.

Other volunteers and contributors have also made their presence felt, including those from political parties and even water concessionaires from other states.

Some families, however, are still in need of aid as the unexpected deluge has resulted in their houses, which survived years of annual floods, now damaged beyond repair.

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