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Hospital Kuala Krai workers and other relief agency personnel transferring patients, including a newborn baby, to be airlifted to Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kubang Kerian yesterday. — Bernama pic
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KUALA KRAI, Dec 29, 2014:
Amid rising floods, the Kuala Krai Hospital (HKK) is doubling up as a relief centre for residents seeking shelter.
HKK acting director Dr Nik Mohd Faizal Zainal Abidin said the hospital’s management had agreed to shelter some evacuees and look after their needs, on humanitarian grounds.
“For the first time, HKK has become a shelter for flood victims, although it is not our responsibility. But there is no excuse for us to reject them.
“Indeed, our operation is a bit affected, such as the beds which are specifically meant for our patients, are allowed to be used by some of the flood victims.
“But it’s okay. In fact, we try to give them whatever is available such as hot water, food and even patients’ hospital attire for their change of clothes,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Bernama also found that several families had sought shelter at HKK’s surau, visitors’ gallery and waiting area as they could not get to the nearest relief centre due to the floods.
Housewife Fazlina Musa, 40, said they had no choice as the relief centres at Sekolah Menengah Sultan Yahya Petra 1 and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Manik Urai were inundated with evacuees.
Reflecting on her frightening experience, Fazlina, who has been sheltering for the past six days at HKK, said her family was alerted via radio that their neighbourhood would be flooded.
“It was normal on Monday, with no sign of our neighbourhood going to be flooded. However, that night, we were informed the flood this time would be worse than before. At 1am, the flood waters rose and we ran to my mother’s shop in town.
“However, the water level rose swiftly to the first floor of the shop. I had to hand over my son through the first floor window to the rescue personnel in the police boat, while the adults had to dive underwater on the ground floor as it was the only exit available. Jumping into the boat would be too dangerous,” she said.
Fazlina said the management of HKK was sympathetic and always ensured there was enough food and dry clothes for her and her family.
Dr Nik Mohd Faizal said the operation and services at HKK were still functioning as normal although the main access was under water, while power and clean water supplies were limited.
He said the flood eased yesterday, allowing the transfer of critical patients to Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in Kubang Kerian, using boats and helicopters.
Kuala Krai town, which had been under flood waters as high as a two-storey building, is gradually recovering, as the waters subside.
Traders are seen cleaning their premises of thick mud and people are coming out to town on their daily, albeit limited, activities.
The flood water level, prior to this, almost touched the roof of the Kuala Krai Main Market. Now, the road in front of the market is passable to four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Several roads around the town are still covered in thick mud.
Travelling from Machang to here using the main Kota Baru-Gua Musang road is still out of the question as several roads around Kampung Keroh, Sungai Durian and Guchil are only accessible by boat.
A Malaysian Armed Forces team, headed by Captain Mukhriz, could be seen helping the public cross the flooded areas using army trucks and boats.
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