Flood victims resuming their lives and businesses

Flood victims resuming their lives and businesses

KUALA KRAI - The floods may have destroyed property and goods but the calamity has not dampened the spirit to rebuild lives and businesses.

The aftermath of the floods - described by many as the worst the state has encountered - saw the streets of Kuala Krai coated in mud and strewn with rubbish as shops discarded damaged goods.

The central market was not spared either.

Yesterday, The Star found foodstuff scattered all over with the stench of decaying produce permeating the air.

Parts of the zinc roof had collapsed while floodwaters had brought all the cupboards down.

Even so, it did not stop determined hawkers from carrying on with their business.

Fishmonger Annuar Hussein, 51, who operates his stall outside the market, said: "We reckon people need to eat fish. That's why we resumed our business on Jan 1."

Annuar said that despite the floods, he drove as far as Besut, Terengganu, to replenish his stock.

"Our stock was wiped out by the floods. We lost RM5,000 (S$1,876) worth of ikan bilis alone," he said.

His wife Nor Afini Abdul Wahab, 49, said their stall inside the market as well as their house had been destroyed.

"That's why we're forced to operate outside the market. I don't think anyone dares to reopen their stalls in there just yet," she added.

Nor Afini was, however, grateful that they lost only material goods.

"My family is okay. For that, I am thankful," she said.

Besides hawkers, swiftlet farms were also affected by the disaster.

"It was midnight. Waters rose too quickly and my swiftlets did not stand a chance," said entrepreneur Ong Kang Soon, 55.

All three floors of his swiftlet farm were inundated.

"On the outside, the farm looks all right. But the inside is filled with swiftlet carcasses," he said.

Phone shop owner Foo Szen Lueen, 28, estimated his losses at RM50,000.

"My two-and-a-half-year-old business had just broken even - and now, this happens," he said.

"Waters reached the ceiling rapidly," he said.

Though financially affected, Foo said he would not give up.

"It will take around RM10,000 to repair my shop. Once that is done, I will reopen my business," he said.

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