MACHANG, Malaysia - Seeing the destruction to his school inflicted by the floods brought tears to a teacher's eyes.
The compound of SJK (C) Chung Hwa, Machang was covered in one-foot deep mud, said Jalaluddin Yeop Majlis.
To his dismay, the 49-year-old also discovered that books and documents in the building's second floor were soaked wet as well.
"It's not like we didn't prepare for the floods. This is a flood prone area," he said. "That's why our library and administrative offices are located on the second floor.
"It's such a waste. We are forced to dispose off more than half of the books in the library."
Cleaning and repair works, he said, could take more than a month.
"Classroom sessions will be interrupted as we need students to help out with the cleaning process," said Jalaluddin, who has been teaching at the school for four years.
A director of the school board King Kian Bee was saddened to see the basketball court and football field damaged.
"We have the most beautiful football field of all the schools in Kelantan. Now, the whole place is covered in mud," he said, adding that it would take months for the grass to regrow.
Situated next to the river, the basketball court had cracks as the floodwaters had eroded the soil beneath.
King, who retired as a teacher seven years ago, said: "When I was a primary school student, the riverbank was a thick bamboo grove. The river was much smaller."
He said the annual floodwaters had slowly eroded the banks.
The school management spent at least RM100,000 (S$37,801) to build trenches to prevent further erosion.
"It had been effective for several years. But the flood this time ripped apart the wires holding the rocks (placed there to prevent erosion) together," he said.
Despite the destruction, King was grateful to see that many people were volunteering to help.
One of them is Machang Umno Youth chief Eriandi Ismail who brought 30 members to help with the cleaning.
"We want the pupils to be able to return from their holidays to a clean and comfortable classroom," he said.