Malaysia floods: No task too difficult for these unsung heroes

PETALING JAYA - A woman who had recently delivered twins was among those who could not evacuate to higher ground when floods hit her village in Pasir Klang, Kelantan.

Given her weak post-natal condition, many would have shied away from the delicate task of physically moving her out of her house and through the rising floodwaters.

Not officers of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, though. They arrived by boats to move her and other residents to an evacuation centre in Tangga Krai a few days ago.

The officers, helped by some other residents, carefully shifted the woman onto a stretcher, which they then put into a boat, along with her newborns.

Carrying flood victims, ranging from babies to the elderly, to safety is a daunting task bravely undertaken by officers in their rescue and evacuation missions in the east coast states.

Missions have been in full swing over the past week, with officers heading from village to village in affected areas of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang to move them to evacuation centres.

On a mission in Chendering, Kuantan, officers had to hoist an elderly man on their shoulders - because he could not walk - and carry him away from his home in Lubuk Payu, Taman Tas.

In Lipis, Pahang, they also rescued a senior citizen who was trapped in his house at the Public Works Department quarters there.

The Civil Defence Department and the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces faced a no less daunting challenge as they moved to evacuate and assist flood victims.

During a rescue mission at SMK Manek Urai in Kelantan, the army used a winching method where an army commando unit member was lowered to the school rooftop from a helicopter.

The officer, who carried essential supplies with him, was lowered from quite high up as the helicopter could not fly close or land because of the bad weather condition.