Sad tales and heartwarming stories shared on Malaysian social media amid floods

A paralysed man stuck in a house with rising flood waters around him as he awaits rescue. PHOTO: CHLRIEDES/TWITTER
Villagers and local authorities conduct a rescue operation at a flood-affected village in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A view of buildings and vehicles submerged in flood waters in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
An emergency vehicle helps pedestrians cross a flooded area in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Vehicles stuck in the middle of a flooded highway in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A man cleans mud from his house after it was hit by floods in Kuala Lumpur, on Dec 19 , 2021. PHOTO: AFP
A view of buildings and vehicles submerged in flood waters in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - A paralysed man stuck in a house with rising water around him, a woman and her child on the boot of a stranded car waiting to be rescued from flood waters around her, and water gushing into the basement of a condominium to submerge vehicles.

These were some of the images shared on Malaysian social media in the past three days as heavy rain pummelled most of Peninsular Malaysia on Sunday (Dec 19) for the third day running.

In another widely shared video, a big lorry carrying stranded Malaysians in the rain travelled along a highway, with waves of the flood water splashing into dozens of stalled cars and even big lorries.

One video on Twitter showed a settlement said to be in Hulu Langat district in Selangor, with wrecked cars, uprooted trees, and homes in ruins.

"Cars are badly destroyed, overturned, Allahu Akbar (God is great), total loss, Hulu Langat, this is bad. All the houses are underwater, near the river," said a man in the video posted by user Pokpih.

About 100 residents of Taman Sri Nanding in Hulu Langat were stranded on the roof of a prayer hall for more than 12 hours, waiting for rescue. The residents, including babies, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, had to climb onto the top of the hall due to rising water levels, Sinar Harian newspaper reported on Sunday.

The devastation seemed unreal for many Malaysians sharing the videos and pictures, as these involve urban Selangor and the capital city Kuala Lumpur, and not rural Kelantan, Terengganu and eastern Johor, as annually seen during the year-end monsoon season.

The tales of those stranded led Twitter user 4M30W to write, "I don't think any of us can get a good night's sleep tonight. My heart is broken reading all these updates",  accompanied by five crying emojis.

Villagers wade through a flooded street in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

There were heartwarming stories too.

A video showed a car stopping by a road to pick up a family of four who had walked several kilometres as the area around their Shah Alam housing estate was flooded.

A rider with a food-delivery company opened up two of his thermal bags to show seven cats he had rescued, to the virtual applause of many people.

The devastation did not spare the country's landmarks.

A video showed Malaysia's oldest mosque Masjid Jamek in downtown Kuala Lumpur being inundated with raging river water that flooded its compound.

The next-door Dataran Merdeka, or Independence Square - the site of concerts, political rallies and National Day parades - was not spared.

Neither were the main routes to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from surrounding areas that were shut on Sunday (Dec 19) due to the floods. Passengers and airport staff were advised to use the one highway left that remained open.

Meanwhile, police are on alert following the emergency release of water from the Klang Gates Dam in Hulu Klang after water levels breached dangerous levels.

As at early Sunday morning (Dec 19), about 25 per cent of the total volume of water at the dam, KL's key water supply resource, has been released in stages beginning on Saturday (Dec 18).

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said on Saturday that the state recorded record rainfall that day of 380mm.

An aerial view shows a flooded residential area after torrential rains in Hulu Langat district, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

"This is more than double the highest rainfall distribution recorded previously, which was about 180mm, and normally, the water level will only reach about 60mm."

But in a twist of irony, the authorities on Sunday said water supply will be cut to 472 areas in Selangor and KL, as several water treatment plants were deluged.

Air Selangor, the state utility that supplies water to Selangor state and the federal territory of KL, did not say when regular supply would resume.

Worse, the utility said it could not send out water trucks to many areas because roads were underwater.

With key roads flooded or damaged, some emergency services have been delayed, forcing flood victims to post their plight on social media to ask for help.

Vehicles stuck during flood with heavy rain at KESAS Highway in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Motorists attempt to drive through floodwaters from Sri Kembangan to Batu 11 Cheras, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK.

A Telegram messaging group has been started to help those stranded and needing rescue to list down where they are, as well as their phone numbers.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations such as Gurdwara Sahib and Kembara Kitchen have jumped in to cook and distribute meals to those in need.

As the rain kept pouring down on Sunday, the cries for rescue have continued.

A woman who ran a dog and cat shelter that was flooded pleaded on Instagram for a boat to come and rescue her animals, saying that she no longer had electricity.

Twitter user Zarapedia wrote that her brother, his pregnant wife and children have been trapped in their home in Shah Alam, Selangor, since Saturday.

"We have called for help. They said they will come. But they haven't. The house has had a blackout since yesterday. I don't know how they will survive and food supply is low," she wrote on Sunday.

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