Penang floods: Retiree rushes to save elderly parents from collapsed house

GEORGE TOWN - Raymond Chuang's mind went blank the moment his house at Jalan Balik Pulau collapsed with his elderly parents still inside.

Without hesitating, the 59-year-old retiree rushed inside with his brother to rescue their 90-year-old father and 80-year-old semi paralysed mother amidst the storm yesterday.

Their work was made harder by the total darkness as the wooden house's electricity supply tripped after a third landslide hit.

"We were fumbling around in the dark trying to move around without causing the house to collapse totally.

"We panicked, and I did not even realise I cut my foot until after I managed to help my parents out and saw the blood on the floor," said Chuang, who received 16 stitches on his right foot.

Before the house collapsed, Chuang went outside to check the situation with his brother when the first landslide hit close to their home at 1am.

"We were clearing debris and sludge away when the second and third landslide hit behind our house within 10 minutes.

"Our house, which is already 60 years old, was unable to withstand the pressure and collapsed.

"Fortunately, my parents were not far from the entrance. It took us around half an hour to get them out," he said.

Chuang's brother escaped with scratches while his wife, who was also trapped when the house collapsed, received seven stitches to her toes.

"This is the first time the landslides hit so close to home. Throughout our stay here for more than 50 years, we only encountered a landslide once, two years back.

"This really shocked us but we are grateful my family is safe," he said. Chuang and his family are staying with relatives.

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