The tsunami which struck Penang seven years ago left more than sad memories in the hearts of its victims, it also changed their lives forever.
It hit Tanjung Bunga, Batu Ferringghi and Balik Pulau Penang at about 1.30pm, killing 52 people and injuring 141, mostly picnickers and anglers.
While many suffered, some benefited from it.
Sheikh Mokhtar Mohamad, 61, said the tsunami changed his life for the better, from being a fisherman to a food stall operator.
“This place was once the site for houses of tsunami victims who moved to low-cost apartments. When it fell vacant, I applied to the village committee members to operate here,” he told reporters yesterday.
Mokhtar who has been doing business near the floating mosque for six years admitted his fear when hearing big waves pounding the shore.
“I always like to remind my customers to be cautious and not to play in the water,” added the resident of Kampung Melayu Tanjung Bunga.
Meanwhile, Zainab Wan Chik, 55, said her spirit was broken after the tsunami left her paralysed and with a heart ailment.
“My house was the worst affected. The wave came like a rampaging dragon taking along all in its path. I lost everything to the tsunami,” she added.
Mohamad Daud Abdullah, 45 said the tsunami changed his life as he converted to Islam about three months after the tragedy.
“I was picnicking with friends on the shore of Miami Beach, Batu Feringghi, when the water levels rose suddenly.
“There was panic everywhere but I managed to pull out two visitors who were almost swept away by strong currents,” he said.
Despite the tsunami, Daud remains a fisherman to this day knowing that the firendly waves could turn violent.
“The sea is my source of income. As long as I am still strong and healthy, I will continue to go out to sea,” he added.