TAMPIN: “I saw roofs and timber frames being blown off and swirling in the air. All I could think about was saving my wife and disabled son.”
These were the words of Othman Md Noor, 74, one of the victims of a storm which struck Felda Jelai 1, Gemas, on Sunday as freak weather continued to cause havoc around the country.
Describing the incident as the worst he has faced since living in the settlement for 41 years, Othman said he saw the entire roof structure of his house being blown away and furniture damaged in the incident, which started at 5.30pm and lasted almost half an hour.
“It was unexpected and shocking. Usually, it would be a short rain or storm. But yesterday, the wind was very strong followed by heavy rain.
“I could not save anything. I only managed to help my 74-year-old wife Juriah Abdillah, who could not walk, and my disabled son get to the backyard store.
“I did not have time to ask for help from neighbours. Only after the rain subsided did I learn that they had faced the same situation, though not as bad as mine.
“At 9pm yesterday, we were placed at the Felda Jelai 1 quarters near here,” he told Bernama here today.The father of eight said it would take at least a month for his house to be fully repaired and estimated his losses at over RM20,000.
About 30 houses in Gemas near here were damaged and vehicles were struck by trees due to heavy rain there on Sunday afternoon.
Gemas Fire and Rescue Station chief Mohd Farid Abu Bakar said no injuries or deaths were reported.
In Ipoh, more than 15 members of a congregation were startled when they heard a loud sound amid a storm while performing the asar prayers at Surau Diri Jumaat Al-Ansar at the Seri Palma housing estate in Bandar Seri Botani on Sunday evening.
One of the members, Semsudin Abu Baker, 71, said they looked around after the prayers and found that a 30m high telecommunications network transmitter station tower had collapsed and damaged a cabin behind the surau.
“Thankfully the cabin, which was used as accommodation premises for the siak (surau staff), was unoccupied at the time of the incident,” he said when met by reporters at the location today.
The fallen tower caused a disruption in cellular services.
“About 1,000 subscribers of Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd services are expected to experience reduced capacity at this time, so it is hoped that they will remain patient as the situation is expected to improve by Friday,” said Perak Youth, Sports, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Khairul Shahril Mohamed.