Now is 4.40 am in the morning, the 3rd day since I evacuated my unit property at Sir Fred Schonell, St Lucia. Currently there is no electricity (no electricity means no internet too okay, just keep that in mind), limited food supply and probably shortage of water supply soon. The condition? Alhamdulillah praise be to Allah, all 6 of us are being blessed by Allah in this flood crisis. You’ll find out what I mean with that ‘blessed’ word. Keep on reading. :)
I will make 3 parts for this flood experience story; pre-flood, during the flood and post-flood.
Rewinding back to the past most critical 72 hours on 11.1.11 (the last update from me in this post).
I just finished with the observation and some data collection for my crosses project (more details about my summer project here and here). I was at the rooftop of Goddard building alone when I did my data collation. I knew something was not good when it was raining heavily on that day since morning. Like something was no right. It did rain on the previous day, but there was something different with the weather on that day.
Then I went back to the lab downstairs to keep my log book. I wanted to finish up with the DNA extraction and some plant transplanting work that was long due.
It was about noon when most of the people (summer students, postgraduation students, and researchers) that were currently in the university received a warning email from their school director. That email told us to go back home immediately to secure things, evacuate the university ground asap and move to hilly area.
“Nurul, you need to go back now. Pack your stuffs and buy food for a week”, said Vignesh with his serious face out of nowhere when I was browsing the internet to check emails.
I stunned. I tried to read his poker face deciding whether that statement was a joke or for real. You know how playful Vignesh is right? (Read more about him here)
“This is serious! I’m not joking”, he continued realising the long pause and reluctant-to-believe face that I gave to him.
“Yup I will. When I finish with this”, I responded.As soon as he leaved the lab to inform others, I immediately called Zaira. I told her about the evacuation and let her knows that I’m going to overnight at her place for a couple of days. I packed my stuffs and headed straight to my house.
This was the first scenario that I felt blessed and grateful to Allah. I was lucky enough that Allah gave me will to do some groceries few days before this flood crisis strike. So I had enough food supply for a week. Alhamdulillah.
This was what I brought in a cabin size luggage:
- Passport, Malaysian IC, house documents, student ID, bank card, some cash
- The holy Al-Quran
- Laptop, mobile phone, phone charger, camera
- Some clothes, socks, spare hijab, small towel
- Umbrella of course
- Rice, eggs, milk, bread, fruits
- Medications and toiletries
And this teddy bear; the only not-so-important item that I will not leave behind. This teddy means a lot to me.
With his flatted tummy. Owh well..
That evening when I arrived at Zaira’s place I just realized how serious and critical the situation was when I watched the television (okey, rumah saye tak ade tv harap maklum). The Toowomba was heavily flash flooded due to inland tsunami. That area was severely affected and damaged as told by the news. My jaw was almost drooped when I heard of the news.
Now I need to face this crisis independently without my parents. This was a matter of survival. That night we gathered at Sis Zatil's house. There were 6 of us; Zaira, Asyikin, Sis Shuhada, Ainna, Sis Zatil and me.
O’ Allah, please help me and my friends.
Just overnight, the water went higher than expected. Almost half of the Warren St was submerged with water. The map of Warren Street in this post. Alhamdulillah Sis Zatil managed to find a house at Central Avenue which is the highest point in our area.
Above was my travel log on 14.1.11. I only managed to blog again when the internet connection already stabled. To be continued..