LOITERING around while some walked barefoot in the water, families looked as if they were having lots of fun by the beach on New Year’s Day.
Only that they were walking in floodwater, which had submerged parts of the Bota Kiri-Kampung Gajah road in Lambor Kiri, and not actually at the beach.
Kampung Teluk Kepayang villager Hamsiah Mohamad Shariff said many curious folk had been making their way to the flood-deluged area in the Perak Tengah district, more so on weekends and public holidays.
“It’s as if there is a festival here.
“I have no idea where they are from,” said the puzzled woman, whose home has been flooded twice in a week.
While the floods seem to be fun for those not affected, actual flood victims have only tales of suffering to tell.
Trader Anuar Ismail, 48, said villagers in Lambor Kiri have been living without power supply for the past nine days since Christmas Eve.
“I have almost sold out my stock of candles and oil lamps,” said Anuar, whose home cum shop was also not spared.
Meanwhile, 37-year-old housewife Roshidah Mat Sah has had to endure the inconveniences of undergoing her confinement period and caring for her 18-day-old baby at the SMK Lambor Kiri flood relief centre.
“I feel so shy having to breastfeed my newborn daughter in a room with so many people around.
“I also have to wait until the volunteers have finished cooking and everyone has eaten to be able to use the kitchen at the school canteen to “bertungku” (Malay traditional hot stone massage performed after giving birth).
“I’m so out of sorts. Everything is topsy-turvy,” said the mother of six who had to be evacuated by boat from her home in Kampung Teluk Sena just 10 days after giving birth.
Chatting at the canteen were Salleh Mat and Ahmad Khaharuzi Ibrahim, who have spent close to two weeks at the centre.
Salleh, 61, said he had not taken a bath for just as long a period.
“There’s nothing to do here except eat and sleep,” he said.
Like Salleh, Ahmad Khaharuzi said he had nothing to do as his oil palm plantation was submerged in water.
On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited victims at the centre, offering them words of encouragement and sympathy.
There were 5,216 victims at 19 centres in the Perak Tengah district as of Dec 31.