(NST File Pix) Buildings inundated by floodwaters in Pekan Rantau Panjang, Kelantan.

AS everyone knows, the flood situation in the country, especially in the east coast, is worsening. My heart goes out to the people affected by this yearly phenomenon, which appears to have no solution.

However, we can take measures to reduce fatalities during the flood season. I am referring to the deaths that are caused by human error and negligence. These surely can be prevented if people are more cautious.

Sometimes, we see pictures of children and adults happily swimming in the floodwaters without any care for their safety. If nothing happens, then it is well and good. But, what if something tragic happens?

What if there is a sudden current and the thrill seekers are pulled into the raging waters?

One can swim in the floodwaters only when safety precautions have been taken. Even then, it may not be a good idea.

When I was young, my parents often took my cousins and I for picnics along Sungai Kinta, near Kampung Simee, in Ipoh. In those days, the river was crystal clear and clean, and Ipoh folk love to swim in it.

One day, my cousin and I decided to cross the river to the other side of the riverbank. We thought the river was shallow. But midway through our adventure, we found ourselves floating downstream. We struggled to stay afloat and shouted for help, but no one heard us.

While we were bobbing in and out of the raging water, I noticed a huge rock protruding in the water. I shouted to my cousins to swim towards it.

We clung to it and shouted for help. Luckily, our uncle heard and rescued us. When we were safely on shore, we swore never to do such a foolish thing again.

What I am trying to say is that many of these deaths are caused by negligence. During the monsoon season, it is safer to stay indoors.

To all those who have lost their loved ones in the floods, let us offer Al-Fatihah and may they rest in peace.

MOHD GHAZALI OSMAN

Ipoh, Perak

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