Tsunami Aftermath in Penang: Heartless Opportunists

A mess of upturned boats and damaged nets at Pulau Betong

After the tsunami had taken almost all of their belongings came thieves who took the rest of it. There have been cases of boats, engines and nets that survived the devastating waves that went missing thereafter. While the victims of Pulau Betong were cleaning up their houses, busy salvaging their possessions and helping neighbours in this time of need, some ruthless people were taking the opportunity to steal from them. Those boats and fishing equipment were the only things left that could help them rebuild their lives and now that is gone too. My cousin?s husband had to move his boat further upriver to prevent that.

Living Dangerously

In a short while, I will most probably be bumming around Gurney Drive with Wuan. The seaside is not the best place to be at this moment but we have been planning for this break since the beginning of the year. We are taking our chances and hope that Penang will not be hit by another tsunami. Besides, I need to get away from accessing the Internet for a while to stop my emotions from being overloaded by all the grim images of this catastrophe. This blog will not be updated in the next few days. Take care people.

Memories of Pulau Betong

These six photographs were taken in 1981. Dad had taken Cikgu Mustaffa Ismail on a round-island trip. He had taught the class I was in as a trainee teacher a couple of years back. I last heard he was teaching at SMK Aminuddin Baki in Chemor, Perak. That was many years ago. Among the stops we made was the idyllic fishing village of Pulau Betong where my cousin was staying with her family. Her husband is still a fisherman there. Pulau Betong was devastated when a tsunami slammed into it after the earthquake off Sumatra yesterday.

Cikgu Mustaffa and me at the wooden bridge across Sungai Pulau Betong.

Dad and Cikgu Mustaffa on one of the wooden jetties.

Cikgu Mustaffa and me on a wooden jetty.

Another shot at the jetty. Michael (extreme left) lost his boat when tsunami struck.

On one of the moored fishing boats in Sungai Pulau Betong.

Outside the house of my cousin’s in-laws which was inundated by 30cm of water yesterday.