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Social media helps rescue stranded, isolated flood victims

The power of social media has helped rescue flood victims trapped in their homes and isolated from neighbours.

A resident of Kampung Ajai, Dong in Raub, about 161 kilometres from here, Mansor Omar, 50, said he was informed that a picture of his wife and daughter sitting on a roof beam on Facebook made it possible for them to be found by the Fire and Rescue Department.

He took the picture and sent to relatives to inform that the water in the house at that time had almost reached the roof and to show that they were waiting for the rescue boat since the house started flooding noon yesterday.

“I did not expect the picture to go viral on Facebook with the caption that we were still waiting for help. In my heart I was worried that no one would come because my house was quite far and from outside, no one would know we were inside due to very dark conditions.

“Around 3 am, I heard the sound of a boat approaching the door of the house and immediately shouted and turned on the smartphone lights to tell where we were. I just could not describe how grateful we were,” he said when contacted here today.

Mansor who is self-employed said they were trapped due to the rising water, while based on past experience, the floods had never entered the house since he had lived there for 19 years.

The power of social media also made it possible for him to be contacted by the authorities who informed them that they were waiting for a bigger boat because attempts to get to his house using a small boat were unsuccessful due to strong currents.

“My heart was pounding the whole time, worried about the safety of family members because in such a situation the presence of poisonous animals was not visible. The fear I had made me lose appetite,” he said.

Another flood victim, Nor Azah Muhammad @ Aziz, 48, from Kampung Sungai La, Raub said her plea for evacuation assistance was shared on social media by her stepson in Kuantan, after noticing the situation was getting dangerous and they were already waiting for help too long.

Nor Azah said at that time, she was stranded with her husband and three children and although they had initially planned to leave when floodwaters started entering the house in the afternoon, that changed when she saw that the current was too strong and the water had risen quickly.

“The water in the house started to recede around 2 am, but we did not dare to take the risk because it was dark outside and we could not gauge the water level. Finally, at 5 am, we heard someone holler for us,” she said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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