House owners return to begin the big clean-up

KUANTAN - Judging from the heaps of electrical appliances and household items abandoned at housing areas here, one can imagine the amount of destruction caused by the recent floods.

Flat-screen television sets, desktop computers, air conditioners and antique wardrobes, all soaked in water and covered with mud are a common sight at rubbish dumps here as victims began to discard their water-damaged items.

Sungai Isap, Cenderawasih and Kampung Belukar were among the hardest hits neighbourhoods, as the floodwaters rose to over two meters, almost reaching the roof of the houses last week.

As the floodwaters had risen fast in some areas, many victims managed to grab only personal belongings before fleeing to the nearest flood relief centres.

Housewife Jumaah Hasnon, 44, said most of her furniture was damaged after being left submerged in floodwaters for several days.

The mother of two said she knew her house in Kampung Razali, here, would be in a mess, but she did not expect to be forced to throw away most of her electrical appliances, including her toaster, oven and table fans.

"My husband tried to remove the television cabinet to wash the living room on Saturday and we were shocked when the entire structure collapsed.

"When I purchased it several years ago, I remember the furniture shop owner telling me that it was made from solid wood.

"It is going to be like moving into a new house, especially after I throw away all the damaged items and wash the entire house.

"Most household items have been under water and are covered in mud," she said, adding the family would have to make do with what they had until they could afford new furniture.

D. Thevindran, said the floodwaters had not only damaged the furniture inside his house, but also left stains on the wall.

"I painted the house for Deepavali this year and now, barely two months later, I am forced to repaint it. However, I guess it will be better for me to wait in case a second or third wave occurs.

"I came home daily to check on the house during the floods and saw some of the furniture floating in the living room, but there was nothing I could do," said the 32-year-old, whose house in Cenderawasih was inundated by waist-deep water.

It was heartbreaking for Norzawati Ibrahim, as she was forced to throw away drawers, a damaged bed and a flat screen television after her single-storey house in Taman Desa Bestari, here, was hit by the floods.

The 41-year-old and her neighbours were kept occupied cleaning their homes and sorting out their damaged items, as they feared a second wave would result in more damage to their homes.