GEORGE TOWN: Peter Tan will always be grateful to those who came to his old folks home to help the 12 senior citizens trapped there during the flash floods.
“We were caught offguard because the water level rose very fast. It soaked their beds and there was nothing the four staff on duty could do.
“Fortunately, some members of the public and others from NGOs, St John Ambulance, the state Health Department, Fire and Rescue Services Department and charity agencies came to help,” said Tan, the founder of the non-profit home Gan En Zhi Jia in Lengkok P. Ramlee.
Pictures of the old folks shivering in their soaked beds, which went viral on social media, attracted many volunteers who braved the rain and floods on Friday to help move the victims to a temporary shelter in nearby SMJK Heng Ee.
A 24-year-old volunteer, who wanted to be identified only as Jiang, said it was heart-wrenching to see the senior citizens lying helpless as the flood waters swamped their beds.
“I’ve been to many disaster areas during floods in Penang but seeing these people almost moved me to tears because they could have drowned if help had not come.”
Volunteers at the school also helped clean and feed the aged folk while a doctor tended to them.
One of the senior citizens was admitted to Penang Hospital for observation while the others were taken back to the home yesterday.
Meanwhile, the body of factory worker Noor Afidah Yajunas was found by firemen some 20 hours after she was swept away in a flash flood in Paya Terubong,
Her body was recovered at 7.45am yesterday at a nearby river in Bukit Jambul.
Noor Afidah went missing after she tried to ride her motorcycle across water gushing onto the road from a hillside and was washed into a ravine along Jalan Paya Terubong near Relau.
“I prayed for my daughter’s safety after she went missing on Friday. I have to accept her death as God’s will,” her mother Adisah Jadidi, 66, said at the Penang Hospital mortuary yesterday.
State Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mohd Azman Hussin said 18 firemen were involved in the search.
Rough seas brought high waves that lashed the promenade at the Esplanade on Friday night.
The E&O Hotel’s heritage-wing garden terrace on the seafront was partly submerged when the waves surged over the retaining wall.
Eastern & Oriental Bhd group hospitality and lifestyle director Michael Saxon said no guests were injured and there was no damage to the property.