Thursday, Sep 21st

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 12 August 2017 00:00

Aid Relief after Flash Flood

Written by  Low Siew Lian & Yong Siew Lee, Malacca / Translated by Ong Mooi Lin

Volunteers showering love to care recipient, Chan Cha Bor, who lives alone. Granny Chan happily chatted with the volunteers and exclaimed, “That is very thoughtful of you!” [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

A seven-hour non-stop torrential rain in the wee hours on August 11, 2017, caused the Malacca River and drains to overflow, inundating various low-lying areas in Malacca, with water levels reaching two to three feet. Traffic was brought to a halt due to flooded main roads.


At around 9 am, Tzu Chi Malacca set up a flood relief coordination centre to collect relevant information and coordinate relief work. Split into teams, volunteers visited and extended their care to affected fellow volunteers and public members.

The first relief team headed off to Bukit Beruang and Bandar Hilir, while the second team went to Bacang and Lorong Pandan. On their way to disaster survey, volunteers spotted a few people, some in their cars while some were looking down from a bridge, at the flooded residential area below. Volunteers learnt that these were flood victims from Bakar Batu residential area, located below the bridge, and some residents were still trapped in there.

As some of them had no breakfast, volunteer Lau Bok Lan immediately obtained and distributed some Jing-Si biscuits and bottled water from the car to the victims to fill their stomachs. Volunteers also contacted the coordination centre to arrange for delivery of warm meals for these victims.

That’s very thoughtful of you!

When volunteers arrived at the house of Sah Eng, a fellow cultivator in Taman Rumpun Bahagia, the flood had subsided. She informed that her house was mildly affected and that her grandchildren had helped to clean the mess. Relieved to discover that she was fine, volunteers proceeded to visit volunteer Loo Chia Chia in Lorong Pandan.

Chia Chia was cleaning up alone while her husband, Yong Hock Ann, went out to buy cleaning paraphernalia. Five volunteers retrieved cleaning paraphernalia from the car and started to help. Upon his return, Hock Ann was overjoyed to see volunteers who showed up timely to lend a hand and bring them food. Their house was clean and tidy after an hour of hard work together; and the couple was extremely grateful.

Another team of volunteers visited severely affected areas in Bukit Beruang. They paid a visit to volunteer Goh Cheng Swee and discovered that the furniture was soaking in water. After assessing the condition, a decision was reached to clean and tidy up only after the water had subsided. Volunteers moved on to care for the neighbours who were also affected by the flood and informed them to register their needs at a nearby Tzu Chi’s care station.

Following that, volunteers went to survey the disaster in Bandar Hilir. They visited Granny Chan Cha Bor, a Tzu Chi care recipient, who lives alone. The flood had subsided and left slightly clogged drains in her kitchen and toilet. She chatted happily with volunteers and remarked, “That is very thoughtful of you!” Volunteers offered her some cookies and reminded her to take her meals regularly.

Despite being a victim herself, volunteer Loo Mei Fong still joined the relief team to extend help and support to other victims after cleaning up her own house. When volunteers arrived at the house of fellow volunteers, Lee Chow Yin and wife, Loh Kia Yin, they had already cleaned and restored their house. Kia Yin was touched by the care and thoughtfulness of fellow cultivators, who also comforted her on her recent loss of her mother.

Delivery of packed meals

At Tzu Chi premises, discussions on relief work were ongoing, while another group of volunteers were busily preparing cooked meals for the victims. The owner of a vegetarian restaurant also generously provided 292 packs of food to be delivered to the flood victims through Tzu Chi.

After delivering packed meals to affected volunteers and residents of Taman Rumpun Bahagia, volunteers headed to Bakar Batu and found that the water level was still about two-feet high. Victim Meh Jit Liang brought volunteers to his house. At the sight of the soaked sofa set, washing machine, mattresses, baby cot and other furniture, he complained that the new refrigerator he bought about ten days ago to replace the old one damaged in a flood, was now soaked in water again. He informed that his family would turn to their relatives for shelter if the water did not subside by that night. When volunteers offered them the warm packed food, his son, Meh Chee Wei, immediately tasted the food and exclaimed, “This is delicious! Thanks Tzu Chi!” Finally, a little smile appeared on their faces.

Volunteers also delivered packed food to affected areas where majority of the residents were Malays. It was past 1 pm and many residents were busily cleaning up their houses. They expressed their trust in the volunteers donned in the uniforms they were familiar with. Some even acknowledged that they had eaten food delivered by volunteers in the past.

Victim Nova bte Ismail was at home with her young child. She thanked the volunteers for their kindness in sending them food. Another victim, Termah Seman, an elderly woman with mobility difficulties and who lives alone, had summoned her children home to help with the clean-up. Volunteers waded through the water to their door and upon inquiry, noted their request for six packs of food. The elderly expressed, “Thank you very much for the warm meals! It saves us the trouble looking for food.”

After noon, another team of volunteers headed off to temporary shelters in Peringgit and Munshi Abdullah to attend to the victims’ needs. The shelters hosted 30 and 245 victims respectively. The local welfare department had handed out straw mats, towels and other necessities to the victims. At the officers’ request, Tzu Chi distributed bread and drinking water to the victims.

After a day’s efforts, volunteers had distributed 664 packs of food, 850 buns and 26 cartons of bottled drinking water. The following day, they visited nine affected areas to present cash aid to the victims in three residential areas in Bukit Beruang, Sungai Putat, Pengkalan Rama Pantai, Bandar Hilir, Lorong Pandan, Taman Rumpun Bahagia Bacang and Yasin.

Mobilizing a total of 175 man-day, the two-day distribution had benefitted 355 households.

 

 

Volunteers gathered at Tzu Chi office on August 11 morning to discuss and coordinate on relief work. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Flood victim, Meh Jit Liang’s house was among the most severely affected, with water level reaching three-feet high. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]

Volunteers gathered at Tzu Chi office on August 11 morning to discuss and coordinate on relief work. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Flood victim, Meh Jit Liang’s house was among the most severely affected, with water level reaching three-feet high. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]
 
Volunteers bought food ingredients and prepared meals for the victims using Jing-Si instant rice. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]   The owner of Nature Veggie generously offered 292 packs of food to be delivered to the flood victims through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]

Volunteers bought food ingredients and prepared meals for the victims using Jing-Si instant rice. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
 
The owner of Nature Veggie generously offered 292 packs of food to be delivered to the flood victims through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]
 
Volunteer Wu Jin Shui’s house was seriously affected by flood this time. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Volunteers caring for fellow cultivators, Lu Jia Yan and Wang Zu Xian. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Volunteer Wu Jin Shui’s house was seriously affected by flood this time. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
 
Volunteers caring for fellow cultivators, Lu Jia Yan and Wang Zu Xian. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
With team work, volunteers restored Loo Chia Chia’s (left) home to its original state within an hour. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]   Volunteers arrived at a temporary shelter to distribute bread and drinking water to flood victims. [Photograph by Tai Kim Long]

With team work, volunteers restored Loo Chia Chia’s (left) home to its original state within an hour. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]
 
 
Volunteers arrived at a temporary shelter to distribute bread and drinking water to flood victims. [Photograph by Tai Kim Long]
 
Volunteers distributed relief cash to ten affected households in Sungai Putat. Their kind gesture moved the hearts of teacher Salmah. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Saromah was moved to tears by the sincere care and love extended by volunteers. She embraced the volunteer and expressed her gratitude. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Volunteers distributed relief cash to ten affected households in Sungai Putat. Their kind gesture moved the hearts of teacher Salmah. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
 
Saromah was moved to tears by the sincere care and love extended by volunteers. She embraced the volunteer and expressed her gratitude. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]