'Tornado' hits Ipoh village

IPOH - A tornado-like phenomenon has hit Kampung Manjoi here, blowing away zinc roofs, tiles and the ceiling from about 35 homes.

Trader Mohd Shahron Zulkifli, who witnessed the 6.45pm incident on Monday, said the winds were "insanely" strong and he could even see the swirling effects similar to that of a tornado.

"This is the first time I have seen such scary weather," he said. "I was terrified."

He said the weather was gloomy but it did not rain.

"The roof of my home was blown away and the electrical appliances went dead," he added.

Mohd Shahron said he was waiting for assistance to replace the roof tiles.

"I have nowhere else to go. I hope help will reach my home in time," said the 37-year-old, who is living in Jalan Juara with his wife and five children.

Among the areas affected at the village were Jalan Perwira, Jalan Menteri and Jalan Pemimpin.

Strong winds had wreaked havoc in the northern states in the past. In September last year, strong winds blew away zinc roofs and caused flash floods in several areas in Penang.

In 2010, a mini "twister" uprooted signboards and damaged houses in Perlis.

Retired army personnel Ashari Mohd Dayid, 71, said he was resting at his home when the strong winds came.

"I could hear the wailing sound. Then it got really dark outside. I prayed for my safety and my wife's safety as well," he said.

They lost the roof of their house.

Manjoi assemblyman Mohamad Ziad Mohamed Zainal Abidin said the Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings have been mobilised to help the victims.

"From the reports we gathered, some 400 roof tiles need to be replaced and all party members have been called in to help the villagers move their belongings and fix their roofs.

"We will continue to assess and monitor the situation should more help be required," he said, adding that Rela groups were patrolling the village at night to prevent theft.