KOTA BAHARU (Bernama) – You are in your car and the floodwaters are rising all around you.
You have no money and the bank ATMs are not working because of the floods, so you cannot check into a hotel.
What would you do?
Siti Mariah Ab Majid, 28, an employee of a tour agency, decided to do what she could given the circumstances.
She turned her car into her home. Wary of the rising floodwaters, she parked it in what she thought was a safe place – the parking lot of the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in Kubang Kerian.
Siti Mariah found out that she was not alone. She had three friends for company, all with their own cars.
“We didn’t have a choice. We ran out of money and the bank ATMs were not functioning. The hotels were also full,” she told Bernama.
She said she built up her courage despite the fear of having to face the flood disaster alone.
“Sometimes, I cried,” said Siti Mariah, who is from Pulau Chondong, near Machang.
She said all of them had not bathed for four days and only washed their faces with mineral water from a bottle.
“Up to now, several food outlets had been open but I am worried now because the operators said they will close up this afternoon. If that happens, I don’t know where I will find my next meal,” she lamented.
To add to her misery, Siti Mariah lost her wallet and identification card two days ago when she passed the night at a surau of a supermarket.
“Luckily, a friend helped me out. But I am anxious about my parents’ safety. I understand they are now at the flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pangkal Nering, Pulai Chondong,” she said.
Another person who is now living out of a car is civil servant Shira Che Zakaria, 26.
She said had begun to accept what was happening and hoped the floods would recede soon and the authorities would not overlook her when distributing aid.
“I am aware of the difficulties the authorities face but we have run out of money to buy food and drink. I also pray for the safety of all flood victims,” she said.
Shira said there was no sign of the floods here letting up soon, and she and her friends planned to move elsewhere where they could find shelter and food.