“Watched out for a simple twist of fate,” B. Dylan
3rd November 2017, it was such a nightmare to the citizen of Penang, as the heavy rain had paralysed few islands in Balik Pulau, Georgetown and residential area in mainland such as Kampung Guar Jering and Seberang Prai. These two were worst among the other locations. The water started to rise around Georgetown, a town full of historical buildings and which are very well-known for its mural art painted by magnificent artists from all over the world.
The muddy water was everywhere. A few crowd of old people were shouting tirelessly, asking for help. They were cold yet starving for food. The water was firing all around them. Everything they preserved for a quite long time was damaged by the flood.
This was the time for government organisation to work together with non-government organisation in lending their hands to those whom were suffering from the flash flood. It has been reported that, almost 300 million MYR was lost due to this natural disaster.
A week after the flash flood hit Penang, our photographer documented the aftermath at a low residential village named Kampung Guar Jering, located 30km east of Georgetown, in which, the main source of the villagers was agriculture. Nearly hundreds of the houses were damaged by the muddy water. According to Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (JPAM), 78 families had to leave their houses for evacuation centre. Nobody was reported deceased in that area.
Several NGOs had already arrived at Kampung Guar Jering and was ready to help the villagers clean up their houses, providing basic supplies, foods and medical care. Most of their mattresses, electrical goods and vehicles – were broken to surrealist degree. All the paddy fields were dead and could not be harvested at least a year. The mud destroyed the soil and the irrigation systemneeded to be updated as soon as possible like a flash thunder crawling through our bones.
This year flood disaster in Penang was the worst–it affected the government, businesses, citizens as well as mother nature. But through blood and sweats, the situation had gotten better.
“O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm.
That flies in the night
In the howling Storm;
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy. “
“I saw a pair of sad eyes of an old woman picturing her and her family. How they had suffered during the heavy day. Witnessing her whole house-covered with muddy water, sentimental was disappeared awhile on that day” Z. Hammad