Villagers give up cars and bikes for boats

Water woes: A villager paddling his boat as he goes to inspect his flooded house at Kampung Tersang, Rantau Panjang, in Kelantan. — Bernama

PASIR MAS: Kampung Bawah Lembah in Rantau Panjang here, is looking like a fisherman’s village, with dozens of boats belonging to the residents docked on the side of the main road after it was hit by floods since Saturday, replacing cars and motorcycles as the transport mode of the day.

“With the 5km-long main road also flooded up to one-metre high, the villagers are forced to use the boats to relocate to the temporary evacuation centre (PPS),” said resident Zaid Ismail, 52.

“Many residents in this village have their own boats because when the village is flooded, it often turns into what looks like an ocean.

“We are used to this kind of situation, so when there is a flood, the boats will be our mode of transportation,” he said when met by Bernama yesterday.

Zaid said he had to move to the PPS at SK Gual Periok when the water level in his compound rose to almost 2m.

“It looks like it will take more than a week before the floodwaters recede and the road can be used by vehicles,” he said.

Ramli Che Awang, 55, said during this one or two weeks, villagers will use the boats as their cars and motorcycles have to be parked on higher ground.

“Some have had to paddle by boat for as far as 1km to check on their homes, which they had evacuated to stay at the PPS,” he said.

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