DUNGUN - A mother waded through floodwaters for 500m carrying her three-month-old baby to escape before being rescued in Hulu Terengganu as the worst floods in three decades hit the Dungun area.
Nurul Nadia Tarmizi, 31, of Kampung Mak Bah, said when the water level rose to her thigh, she had no choice but to leave with her baby, Aliff Asyraf Wahab.
"My husband had gone to the workshop to repair the car and could not come home by 10.30am.
"Saving household items did not cross my mind. I was focused on saving my baby," she said when met at SK Pulau Serai flood relief centre.
Nurul Nadia said she had to negotiate 500m on Wednesday before coming across a Fire and Rescue Department team.
About 80 per cent of villages in Hulu Dungun have been flooded since the first wave of floods on Dec 15 when Sungai Dungun overflowed.
The floods, which inundated 20 villages in the Bukit Besi state constituency, are regarded by residents as the worst since 1983.
Among the affected villages are Kampung Kuala Jengai, Kampung Rantau Panjang, Kampung Dendang, Kampung Jerangau Sungai, Kampung Minda, Kampung Shukor, Kampung Padang Ping and Kampung Lintang.
Mohd Ismadi Khalid, 33, of Kampung Minda, said most of the residents in his village had moved out after the water rose to the roofs.
"This time, the floods are very bad. Since my village is flooded every year, I keep my valuable items on a raft," he said.
Zulfadzli Supaat, 42, and Siti Salmiah Sikh Salim, 41, of Kampung Wa experienced harrowing moments when water entered their home.
Teacher Zulfadzli had to call friends to help evacuate his teacher wife and their 45-day-old baby.
"It was a really anxious moment. The only thing on my mind was to evacuate my wife and baby. Thank God, both of them are safe.
"This is the worst floods in my 14-year stay here. During past floods, the water only rose to my calf but this time it came up to my waist," he said.
For senior citizen Mat Jais Jah, 84, the floods inundating his village this time reminded him of the one 31 years ago.
"The floods in 1983 were bad but this time it is worse as more people are evacuated. Fortunately, we have comfortable relief centres and food. Thank God, now all is provided by the Government," he said.