Quake victims' families are trying to cope with pain

Quake victims' families are trying to cope with pain
Burial of a Sabah quake victim, Mr Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed at at Chua Chu Kang Muslim cemetery.
PHOTO: ST

KOTA KINABALU - A month has passed since Mount Kinabalu shook from a 5.9 magnitude earthquake.

The dust seems to have settled but the impact on the people continues to linger.

For one, the families of the 18 people who died are still trying to cope with the sudden and expected loss of their loved ones.

Soutim Sumbin, 50, is devastated with the loss of son Valerian Joannes, a 26-year-old mountain guide who died from his injuries.

"It is tough and I rely on support from my husband and other children to move on," said the mother of 10.

The housewife spends most of her time in the vegetable farm. At night, she cries and prays for the soul of her son.

"I miss everything about my son. He never made us sad or angry.

"He was a happy-go-lucky person and we all miss him dearly. But we know he is at peace," she said.

Soutim said many generous and kind-hearted people had helped the family out.

"We have received a decent amount of money and are thankful for that," she said.

Rozita Daimin, 30, who lost her mountain guide husband Joseph Selungin, 31, said her two children aged two and four gave her the strength to move on.

"I still can't get over his death. It still hurts deeply.

"But I keep myself busy with my children, and moral support from family and friends helps a lot," she said, thanking generous donors for their help.

The 18 were killed by rock and boulder avalanches near the summit of the mountain following the June 5 earthquake.

The others killed were two other guides - Robbi Sapinggi and Ricky Masirin - and 14 climbers compri­sing 10 Singaporean students and teachers; two Malaysians as well as a Japanese and Chinese national.

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