Wednesday October 31, 2012
Miri gets foretaste of landas
By STEPHEN THEN, DIANA ROSE and CINDY LAI
MIRI: Ferocious wind and rain lashed the city for close to an hour, leaving a trail of havoc in what looks like a foretaste of the full onslaught of the landas season.
Roofs of buldings and houses were blown off, electricity poles toppled, trees uprooted and a telecommunication tower brought down.
There were vehicles that were crushed by tree trunks and roads blocked by fallen debris in several residential and commercial areas in and around the city in the aftermath of the 50 kph violent wind and thunderstorm that started around 1.30pm yesterday.
In the Pujut Corner residential estate and the surrounding villages, including the squatter colonies, dozens of houses were damaged.
Major damages were reported in SK Agama Miri located just next to the Miri outstation bus terminal.
The school hall’s roof was blown off in several parts, leaving gaping holes all over the building’s top cover.
A telecommunications tower in front of the school also came crashing down.
The school’s senior assistant Sapri Paee said the school’s morning session had completed classes while transition class was still in session when the storm struck.
“Fortunately, everyone managed to run out of the classrooms and assembled in an open area.
Meanwhile, Ustazah Azalina had a lucky escape when the car she was in was hit by fallen tree trunk.
She said she was inside the car and about to leave the school compound when the rain and wind came and the tree trunk suddenly fell on top of her car.
In the Pujut Corner squatter colony not far from the school, more than a dozen houses were damaged, along with a warehouse where a lorry was crushed by the falling roofs.
A resident Aboi Joni told The Star that his house was almost crushed by a huge tree that had toppled over.
“There was no warning. The wind came very suddenly shortly after it started raining. And pieces of woods and zinc sheets were flying by at the height of the storm.
Along Pujut Corner main road, many sections were blocked by fallen trees.
Residents were seen trying to saw off fallen trees and clearing the paths to their homes.
Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who was in Kuching yesterday, said he was glad to know that there were no serious injuries.
“I will visit the affected areas when I get back to Miri tomorrow. But I must stress everyone must be prepared to face the coming landas. Make early preparations,” he said.
Other places in Miri suffering from the wrath of nature included the Boulevard commercial area, Shang Garden, Riam Road area, several villages in Piasau, Lutong and Senadin. Most reported of roads being blocked by fallen trees.
The police and Bomba, however, said there were no casualties.