Retiree and son survived on instant oats


Water mark: Abdullah (left) showing how high the floodwaters rose at his house. With him is his son Mohd Billal Abdullah. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

SEGAMAT: It was a harrowing experience for retiree Abdullah Mohamed, who was trapped at home for two days with only a little food after the roads surrounding his house were submerged in floodwaters.

Abdullah said he and his 34-year-old son survived on instant oats, the only food they had then.

“I was supposed to do grocery shopping that day but unfortunately, the flood came before I could do so,” said Abdullah, 71.

Abdullah, who lives alone after his wife died last year, said: “My son was visiting me that day. And he got trapped in the house with me.

“The rain had been falling heavily. We were supposed to move to my daughter’s house to avoid the flood, but we could not do so as the roads around my house were already submerged in water.

“We could only drive for a few metres from my front gate before having to stop due to the rising floodwaters,” he said in an interview at his neighbourhood of Taman Utama here.

“Thankfully, my house was not severely affected. The water level only went up by a few inches,” he said.

Abdullah said it was difficult for any NGO or government agency to get to the area to send help.

“On Friday (March 3), my friend was able to send over some food with his four-wheel drive. By then the water level had receded a little.

“I also received a few packets of instant noodles from my neighbour that same day,” he said, adding that he got some food aid from the Sekijang Parliament office later.

The grandfather of three said it was an unforgettable experience for him and his son.

“During the 2006 floods, the same thing happened but the water receded within five to six hours.

“This time, it took two days for the water level to go down,” he added.

Housewife Shahila Sahidin, 41, said she had to act quickly when her house got flooded.

Her husband, who was a bus driver, was away at work.

“It was just me and my four children at home at that time. The water level was rising very rapidly and I could not wait for my husband to get home.

“I grabbed whatever belongings I could and took my kids (who are between four and 15 years old) to the nearest flood relief centre,” she said.

She has two other children, one living in a hostel and another was at a friend’s house.

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