KUALA KRAI – There are no words to aptly describe the situation in Manik Urai, which was recently hit by floods.
Upon entering the town, one is greeted by the sight of houses, suraus, townhalls and shops in Kampung Manik Urai Lama and Kampung Manik Urai Baru which were ruined as well as cars piled up on top of each other.
It is also here that over 400 victims were trapped on the fourth floor of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Manik Urai Lama after flood waters almost reached the floor on which they sought shelter and strong currents as well as unfavourable weather made rescue operations more difficult.
The flood not only caused destruction in the two villages, but also submerged the Manik Urai Police Station and Manik Urai Train Station, forcing policemen and personnel to climb Bukit Kajang to save themselves.
One of the very few structures still standing in Manik Urai.
Each villager interviewed by Bernama had their own unique experience, but a majority were still traumatised and scared by what had happened.
For Azlan Shah Nik Hassan, 56, nothing was left of his house except for the base as it was located right by Sungai Kelantan.
“That day, water spilled over from Sungai Kelantan to my house at 6.30pm.
The family and I ran to a mosque which was located higher. Within two hours only half of my house remained.
“During the time we sought shelter at the mosque, I tried to return home two times to see its condition…now only the base is left,” he said Monday.
It is said the water levels not only exceeded the bridge connecting Kampung Manik Urai Lama and Kampung Manik Urai Baru, but almost reached half the length of the lamp post on the bridge over Sungai Kelantan.
However, despite the sadness shared by the villagers, some of them had stories of joy.
A villager’s car left stranded and broken surrounded by mud and debris.
Faizul Yaakob, 40, said nothing made him happier than being reunited with his wife and nine children after they were separated following the floods.
He said he left his wife and children at his in-law’s house here because he had work to do in Negeri Sembilan.
“I was in Negeri Sembilan on the day floods hit the village. On the second day I lost contact with all family members, which left me distraught.
“Before we were reunited yesterday, my wife and two of our children took shelter in Bukit Kajang, some of our children were staying at a mosque while the rest were at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kuala Krai,” he said, adding that he rushed home yesterday after receiving news that floods in the village had subsided.
In the 20 kilometre journey from Kuala Krai to Manik Urai, almost all houses, factories, oil palm plantations and government buildings seen along the way showed signs of having been submerged for several days in flood waters. – Bernama