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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flood in Sibu Again and Again



Additional mode of transport on a flooded Sibu road alongside a 4WD. Photo by Philip Hii. Although the number of passengers are more than the safety limit the boat driver knows that they would be safe and won't drown should the boat capsize. The passengers are at least dry and moving faster.


Ulu Sungei Merah - photo shows almost waist high level water - this is the worst hit area in Sibu. Photo by Philip Hii (Jan 2009)http://rubberseeds.blogspot.com


This photo was taken at Christmas when floods came to Chung Hua Primary School Sibu.
(Photo by Steve Ling)

When I was a child I was told by my relatives that floods came to the town once every 7 years. And true enough floods occurred in Sibu in 1955 of which I had very little memory and 1963 . So that was quite accurate. But after 1963 floods seem to occur every year more or less.

But in the 21st century 2001-2009 floods seem to come every year and now it seems to be every month!

I am so saddened by all the photos I can see in the newspapers. Malaysian television channels spend more air time condemning foreign countries than showing sympathies to the poor suffering tax payers of Sibu and the lower reaches of the Rejang - the longest river in Malaysia. It is commendable that other parts of Malaysia are already preparing operation rooms with blankets and hot food ready as flooding in those parts are annual affairs. Perhaps "the right time will come" for Sibu to have an operation centre to help out the poor and wet citizens.

Thanks to mobile phones little children can ask for help and comfort from relatives far and wide. Many families are now housebound and food is running low.

I only hope that electricity will not be cut off and unscrupulous traders will not send vegetables and other foodstuff sky hight!! Long beans are scarce and are 40 sen per bean!!

When I was a child I was taught to say this prayer : "Please Lord send a whale to swallow up all the water!!" when there was a flood. It was surreal and Disney like then. But how I wish now that it can be done.

Some historic photos to share with you!!



A Memorable Wedding Shot 13th January 1963 Photo by Song Li Guan



Blacksmith Road Sibu 9th February 1955 Photo by Song Li Guan



Sungei Merah Flood 9th February 1955 (Photo by Song Li Guan)



Photo by Philip Hii Jan 12th 2009

How many times must Sibu be flooded?
Before Sibu can be dry (above flood level) 365 days a year?
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

(adapted from Bob Dylan's song, "blowin in the wind.....")

5 memories:

Daniel Yiek said...

Sarikei downtown also flooded. Will blog on it for tomorrow's post

sarawakiana said...

My great sadness for all. Cannot really express my disappointment with words . I can imagine myself waking up on the ground floor of my house to one foot of water in the bed room!

And the subsequent difficult cleaning and getting rid of the damp smell.

Can we sue the authorities for permitting the developers for constructing all those houses and all those low lying roads? I just feel so cheated!!

Where is the social ethics? Where is the social security?

Can someone like Lee Kuan Yew step out and give some advice?

Bengbeng said...

wow..this pics of yrs the old ones adds a new dimension to the flood dimension

sarawakiana said...

Indeed I must say that we on Jan 13th celebrated the 46th Flood Anniversary of Sibu. (This is very tongue in cheek...heheheh)

I have kept that black and white wedding photo with me all these years. A little blur though. I heard Mr. Song is still around in Sibu albeit of great age.

I have often wonder about the family of the newly weds.

Keep up your good work!!

Jaz said...

Seismic Safety repairs sagging floors by leveling house supports under the sagging floor.

 

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