Foul weather leaves behind trail of destruction in parts of Malaysia

Foul weather leaves behind trail of destruction in parts of Malaysia
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

ALOR SETAR - Freak winds continued to pound parts of the country, blowing off roofs and Ramadan stalls, and dashing Hari Raya plans for some.

Among the worst hit was Kota Setar, which saw Kampung Sematang Tebengau, Tebengau, Kampung Pekan Kubang Rotan, Kampung Tok Sibil and Tajar affected.

Padi farmer Mazzaki Mansor said the storm hit the village at about 1pm on Saturday, adding that he and his mother, Sofiah Awang Ahmad, 63, were at home during the incident.

"A large portion of my roof was blown away by the strong winds. I have to use a canvas sheet to cover the damaged part for the time being," said Mazzaki, 31, who estimated his losses to be about RM15,000 (S$5,340).

"It's going to be a difficult Raya for us," Sofiah said.

Restaurant helper Hasanah Ayob, 60, said she was collecting her laundry outside when the storm hit the house.

"Not long after, I heard a loud noise from the top of my house. Then, I saw the zinc roofs being blown away one by one. They landed some 200m away at a nearby padi field.

"I have no money to repair my house and we will have to stay here when Syawal comes," Hasanah said.

Kota Setar District Welfare Department officer Syahrul Nasir Mat Rais said it had sent its personnel to distribute aid to the affected families.

Strong winds also ripped off the roofs of eight houses in Kampung Haji Md Khir and Lorong Selamat in Guar Chempedak.

In BACHOK, Bernama reported that over 30 houses and a mosque in Kampung Kubang Golok were damaged during a thunderstorm that struck at 5.30pm on Saturday.

Mukim Kubang Golok head Abdul Halim Che Lah said the roofs of most of the houses in the village were blown away, forcing residents to spend the night elsewhere.

The imam of Kubang Golok mosque, Yacob Abdul Rahman, 65, said its dome was ripped off and was blown about 100m away.

Bachok district police chief DSP Abdul Hamid Che Ahmad said it has so far received 25 reports by residents whose houses were damaged in the thunderstorm.

In LABUAN, strong winds early yesterday damaged nearly 30 Ramadan bazaar stalls at Labuan Walk.

Also affected were several stalls in bazaars located at the bus and taxi terminal of Labuan Sentral Market and Kg Layang-Layangan.

The intermittent strong winds with heavy rain were brought on by Tropical Storm Linfa currently passing through Luzon in the Philippines and are expected to last until Wednesday.

A check by Bernama found the structures of two stalls perched on a tree after being blown off by the strong winds.

"A strong wind suddenly hit the bazaar.

"We could only watch in shock," said Roslan S, adding that over 20 canopies were blown off.

"Fortunately, when the incident occurred, the traders had already gone home," said Roslan, who works at the Blue Wave Lounge, near the Labuan Walk bazaar.

A parked vehicle at the Financial Park Complex was also damaged when debris from the building fell on it.

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