About 300 Chin refugees in Malaysia are still left ‘destitute’ after their houses in Jalan Kolam Air, Jalan Ipoh were immersed in flood waters on Tuesday. All their belongings including food and clothes were swept away but no casualty has been reported.
The flash flood came as a shock to the Chin refugees hours after heavy rains that poured down for nearly an hour in late afternoon had stopped.
A Chin victim of Hriphi village from Chin State said: “We felt really shocked when the flood came all of a sudden and ran in panic trying to get especially women and children out first. Altogether, we helped each other and stayed at one place without sleeping until daybreak.”
The flood waters rose rapidly from ankle to chest levels, destroying all the appliances including fridges and beds. A few victims are reported getting cut with pieces of broken glasses as they tried to salvage some of their things.
Members of a Christian Church called SIBKL were said to have provided the Chin victims with food and allowed about 15 people to sleep in the church building. The Chin leaders and pastors visited and encouraged the flood victims with prayers and services.
In Jalan Kolam Air, there are 20 houses where an estimated 300 Chin refugees with about 80 women including 15 with babies and 50 children under 15 live. As of today, more than 30,000 Chin refugees and asylum seekers who have run away from the brutalities of Burma’s military regime are stranded in Malaysia, according to sources.
Van Biak Thang
06 March, 2009