By STEVEN DANIEL
KUALA LUMPUR: A freak thunderstorm and strong winds referred to as a “mini-hurricane” by many, tore through the capital and parts of Selangor, wreaking havoc, uprooting trees and damaging properties.
The hardest hit areas in the 5pm storm were Kepong, Bandar Menjalara and Hartamas.
Road users on the MRR2 highway near Kepong turned to Twitter to report that the rain was so ferocious that many motorists stopped their vehicles by the roadside to wait it out.
A spokesman from the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) said while there was very heavy rain, it was the ferocity of the wind which caused more damage as trees were uprooted, branches snapped, billboards and signboards fell, and roof tiles and tents for functions were blown off.
“There were also reports of cars crushed by fallen trees and branches but fortunately, there was no loss of life or injury. We had earlier been warned by the Meteorological Department of the possibility of storms in the Klang Valley and had been prepared for this,” he said.
Officials from the FRD and City Hall rushed to clear the debris and remove trees blocking the roads to get the traffic moving.
Massive traffic jams up to 9pm were reported all over the capital and highway entry points into the city as motorists were forced to slow down due to fallen trees, debris and minor accidents.
It was learnt that vehicles were stuck near KM23.9 of the LDP in Puchong because of flash floods and several motorists had to be rescued by FRD officials. Areas in Kepong, Hartamas and Subang Jaya were also flooded for a while.
City Hall officials said they received reports that more than 50 trees fell mainly in Kepong and the city centre. They noted that there were several cases involving buildings with zinc rooftops being blown away.
Batu MP Tian Chua said in his Twitter message: “Horrific storm: Batu residents suffer some losses several houses in Kampung Chubadak lost atap; a few fallen trees in Jln Kolam Air”.