KUANTAN, Jan 9 — The experience leading a convoy from Beserah here to attend a wedding ceremony in Kampung Pagi, Hulu Tembeling, in Jerantut, about 213 kilometres from here, will be a memorable one for Mat Napi Ali.
The convoy, comprising 34 people in five vehicles, was stranded in the village for a week, when the water in Sungai Tembeling rose and overflowed its banks, hence cutting off road links to and out of the village.
Mat Napi Ali, 59, said the convoy left Beserah to Kampung Pagi on Jan 1 and was supposed to return on Sunday (Jan 3) as some of them had to return to work on Monday.
“We had planned to return on Sunday (Jan 3) morning. We had seen the swollen river and feared the water would overflow its banks as the rain had not stopped, but before we could leave, we were informed the floods had submerged the road and there was no way out for us.
“After discussing with other members in the group, we decided to remain in the village until the flood water receded, thinking that the water would subside after a day or two,” he said, adding that they took refuge at his sister’s place.
Another problem, he said, was food supply.
“There were many of us and we really had to save on our food stuff,” he added.
Mat Napi said after almost a week, the group became worried as some of them had to return to work as they had used up their leave.
“We were told that the only way out is to take a boat to the main road, but, how do we get to Kuantan after that as we cannot bring our car. We called everywhere for assistance.
“Aid finally came through a call from the office of the Indera Mahkota Member of Parliament Datuk Saifuddin, to inform that the MP would send an express bus to bring us home,” he said.
Mat Napi said after all preparations were made, members of the group left the village in a few boats at 8 am yesterday and arrived in Indera Mahkota at about 10.30 pm.
“It was a long journey because we had to stop at several locations along the alternative roads to wait for the water to subside for the bus to wade through it,” he added.
He said although they were tired because of the long journey, the group told the bus driver way to head to the office of the Indera Mahkota MP to convey their gratitude to Saifuddin, who is Communications and Multimedia Minister, after being informed that he was at the office.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin said his office immediately arranged for assistance to help Mat Napi and his group for fear that the flood situation would worsen and more roads would be closed. — Bernama