Floods, uprooted trees leave trail of havoc

by Jerry Choong and Sylvia Looi

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Rescue personnel had a busy time when thunderstorms wrecked havoc in major towns in Perak and the Klang Valley yesterday.

At the height of the storms, large trees were uprooted, roofs blown off buildings and flash floods saw people trapped in their homes in low-lying areas.

Four large trees fell in the city yesterday afternoon, crushing cars in the process. However, no casualties were reported.

The first incident occurred around 3pm, and six firemen removed a tree which collapsed on a Volkswagen Passat at Taman Seri Petaling. 

This was followed by the collapse of another tree at SMK Desa Petaling at  around 3.30pm.

While responding to the Desa Petaling call, firemen came across another fallen tree which crashed onto a Proton Iswara parked by the roadside in Taman Seri Petaling. A Nissan Serena parked in the school grounds was crushed by a tree.

Operations to remove the tree were suspended as the downpour intensified.

Along Jalan Manis 1, Taman Segar in Cheras a tree collapsed on a Perodua Myvi and Viva at about 4.30pm.

At the height of the thunderstorm, strong gusts of wind blew off the zinc roof of a university block at Taman Taynton View, Cheras. 

The intensity of the winds lifted the roof high in the air before landing on the roof of a house across the road from the university block.

There was a flash flood along Jalan 62 in Taman Selayang Sejati, Gombak.

City Fire and Rescue Department director Khirudin Drahman said the waters rose to 0.5 metres, before receding at 3.45pm.

“The flooding was caused by Sungai Udang overflowing its banks. No casualties were reported,” he said.

In Kuala Selangor, 72 people from 24 families were evacuated from their homes in Kg Tanjung Buah and Kg Tanjung Siam. They were sent to the SK Pasangan evacuation centre in Kampung Kuantan, following floods in low-lying areas.

Meanwhile in Ipoh, a 27-year-old used-car dealer had a close shave when a 50-metre tree in front of a shop crashed on his office.

Amirul Iqmal Mustafa, 27, said he was sleeping duing the 4pm incident.

“The wind was howling. Moments before the tree toppled over, I was awakened by a crackling sound.

“Suspecting something was amiss, I moved from where I was sleeping and moments later the tree  landed on that spot,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at his shop at Jalan Silibin, Amirul Iqmal said he was two metres from where the tree landed.

“I thank God for giving me the instinct to move away,” he said, noting that he only suffered discomfort to his left eye due to dust.

Amirul Iqmal said this was the first such incident in the last 16 years he had been there.

“In fact the tree was there when we started trading here,” he said.

Operations chief Kamarulzaman Subari said the Ipoh Fire and Rescue Department said an Ipoh tree at the square in front of the Ipoh Railway Station, was uprooted by strong winds of strong winds.

This was the third incident in Ipoh where uprooted trees landed on private property.

Last Friday, a woman died while her husband and daughter were slightly injured when a tree landed on their car at Jalan Sultan Nazrin Shah.

On Monday, a rainstorm wreaked havoc in the city resulting in the topplingof trees.

No casualties were reported but at least eight vehicles were damaged by fallen trees.A fallen tree on a car at Taman Bukit Segar, Cheras.