PADANG TERAP, Malaysia - After months of enduring a dry spell, villagers in Pedu near here were elated to see signs of rain on Saturday evening.
However, their joy turned into horror when a storm wreaked havoc, damaging 56 buildings, including a surau, community hall and kindergarten in Kampung Pinang and Kampung Lebai Saman.
The storm, which started about 5.30pm, saw many zinc roofs being blown off.
The strong winds also uprooted trees, which fell on houses and electrical cables, causing damage and power disruption.
Fortunately, none of the villagers were injured in the incident, said to be the worst in recent years.
Kampung Pinang resident Mohd Subhi Bakar, 40, said he was watching television with his mother in the living room when he heard a loud thud coming from the kitchen.
"When I opened the door to look outside, I saw the zinc roof sheets being blown off. I was terrified and dashed out of the house with my mother," he said, adding that a tree crashed into their house minutes after they ran out.
Another villager, Aisah Ahmad, 77, said she had just finished praying when she heard the strong wind.
"I was terrified and only recited a prayer when the storm hit my house," she said, adding that she got up and rushed to her neighbour's house.
Pedu assemblyman Kama Noriah Ibrahim, who visited the victims yesterday, said the state government would provide them with assistance.