BY: Michelle Liew
100 residents of Taman Sri Nanding were chanting prayers when they were trapped for 12 hours on the roof of Surau Al Munir Taman Sri Nanding, last Saturday.
Recalling the anxious moment, Zahrin Nordin, 66, vividly remembers the incident when he and his disabled wife and child took refuge on the roof of the surau, surrounded by floods that flowed all night.
The incident started after the Isyak prayers when Zahrin, who had just returned from the surau, had to rush back to the surau with his family when heavy floods entered the residential area.
“Usually, floods do not enter the surau because the area is quite high, but unusual situations occur when the water rises rapidly to chest level.
“Around 11pm, I and dozens of other residents who took refuge in the surau had to go up to the roof because the water was too high. Coincidentally, there are ladders in the surau that can be used.
“Around 12 midnight, the flood water in the surau had already passed the level of my head and I quickly climbed on the roof of the surau.”
“At that time, there were about 100 people on the roof, including senior citizens aged 70 and above, homeless residents, the disabled, small children, pregnant women and those who had just given birth for 26 days,” he said.
The private pensioner said that the anxious residents were only able to recite prayers in the drizzle all night while the help they contacted did not arrive because the water had reached unsafe levels.
Those who took refuge there were also worried that the roof of the surau would not be able to accommodate nearly 100 people on it, and that a torrential flood was waiting to engulf them if the roof collapsed.
“At that time, the flood looked like a river, the water was flowing very fast. Throughout the night, we sat reciting prayers and prayed that everyone would be safe.
“The next day, the rescue boat arrived at around 10am when the water had started to recede below chest level, before we were taken to Dusun Nanding Religious Primary School for shelter and given food, namely biscuits around 12 noon.
“Alhamdulillah, no one died in this neighbourhood, although I suffered a loss of between RM20,000 to RM30,000 due to damage to electrical goods, furniture and vehicles,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dusun Nanding Village Community Management Council (MPKK) Committee member, Kamarudin Alias, said the residents who took refuge in the surau were lucky because the contractor who repaired the roof of the surau left the ladders there.
“The week before the flood, we had just repaired the surau and the contractor left the ladder there.”