Her face was expressionless as she watched the workers destroy what remained of her house.
Mrs Jarah Awang Hamat, 67, is one of the many victims of the severe flooding that has devastated the Malaysian state of Kelantan this month.
The New Paper visited Manik Urai, one of the villages hit hardest by the rising waters.
Many of the wooden houses that are common in this small village had been ripped from their foundations and shifted several metres from their original location. Others simply don't exist any more.
Mrs Jarah's house was swept off its foundation onto the town's main road, blocking access to vehicles bringing much needed food to the area.
Bulldozers had to be brought in to remove what remained of her home.
"What to do? I'm sad that they have to destroy my home, but I'm just thankful that I'm alive," said the widow, who has nine children.
Mrs Jarah, who lives with her youngest daughter, told us what she went through in the early hours of Dec 23.
With the waters rising up to her chest, she was rescued by a fellow villager on a small sampan.
She was ferried a short distance to the relative safety of the bridge that connects Manik Urai to the relatively newer township of Manik Urai Baru.
She then had to wade through knee-high water into town to seek shelter in a clinic in Manik Urai Baru, which had been turned into a temporary relief centre that night.
Her second-youngest daughter, Miss Siti Saleha Sudin, 26 returned from Kuala Lumpur on Dec 26 after her younger sister told her about the rising flood waters.
"We didn't expect the flood to be this bad this year," said Miss Siti, who was glad to see her mother safe. "The waters don't usually rise so high, but this year, it completely engulfed the town," added the administrative assistant.
"It was like a tsunami had gone though the village," she said.
According to her, the waters subsided enough for the villagers to return to their houses last Friday .
"I'm thankful for the help that the villagers rendered my mother," she said.
"She wants to stay and rebuild her home, but for now, I think I will take her back to Kuala Lumpur to stay with me," she said.
This article was first published on December 31, 2014.
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