BUKIT MERTAJAM: A well-equipped evacuation centre and steady supply of aid helped ease some of the worries of flood victims here.
A 700 sq metre hall at the Seberang Prai disrict land office in Jalan Betek here is now a temporary home for about 300 evacuees from 80 families.
They were among the worst hit by the floods, their houses inundated by up to 1.5m-deep water.
On Monday night, the centre was a hive of activity with government agency personnel and volunteers from NGOs working together to look after the needs of the victims.
Boxes of donated clothes could be seen outside the centre, and a team from the Civil Defence Force was stationed at the entrance to register newcomers.
Cars arrived in droves outside the hall, bringing along dry food, snacks, water and meals from NGOs and charity groups.
Inside the brightly lit and air-conditioned hall, children ran about, playing hide-and-seek among the square tents that were arranged like a maze.
Each family has been given a tent for privacy and to store whatever belongings they managed to take with them.
A Welfare Department team was also there to coordinate donations and food preparation.
A military team set up a makeshift kitchen and cooked hot meals such as rice and curry for the victims.
Vegetarian meals were also provided by the Tzu Chi Foundation.
A projector was switched on in the evening to screen a movie.
By midnight, most of the lights were switched off.
The evacuees went to sleep, but volunteers outside remained busy.
More cars and trucks drove up outside the centre to drop off and pick up supplies.
The centre also serves as an aid collection point for the district.
By sunrise the next day, a Seberang Prai Municipal Council truck arrived to take students to school.
Each evacuee was served breakfast of fried beehoon and a hard-boiled egg.
Some, including senior citizens, later took a walk around the centre’s car park.
Among the common topics of conversation that morning was on missing personal documents and how best to clean up their houses once the waters receded.
Most of the evacuees returned to their homes in Kota Permai, Taman Sri Rambai and Taman Sungai Rambai yesterday.