One ‘hail’ of a storm in USJ

Storm havoc: Residents of USJ9 in Subang Jaya looking at damaged houses and vehicles after a heavy storm yesterday. It was sheer havoc in the area as hailstones the size of marbles (inset, pic received via tweet) sent residents scrambling for cover. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

SUBANG JAYA: It was sheer havoc in many parts of USJ as a hailstorm coupled with exceptionally strong winds sent residents scrambling indoors for cover.

Trees were uprooted causing damage to cars and homes in the freak thunderstorm which occurred at about 3.30pm.

Some residents said they had never experienced anything like yesterday’s storm, which lasted about 45 minutes.

The scene at Persiaran Kewajipan and Persiaran Tujuan resembled a disaster zone with many trees uprooted.

“I thought a typhoon had struck.

“The sound and fury of the storm was frightening and I saw trees swaying,” said a doctor who was visiting his daughter in USJ20.

The other affected areas included USJ8, 9, 13, 14 and 21.

Flash floods were also reported in some of the low-lying areas.

There were no reports of casualties. The hailstones were the size of marbles.

USJ13 resident Susan Raj, in her 50s, said she had lived in the area for over 20 years and had never experienced such a violent storm.

Aftermath: Dhanabalan trying to get to his car which was trapped by an uprooted tree after the storm yesterday.

“I thought it was going to be a normal rainy afternoon, then all of a sudden hailstones came falling,” she told The Star outside her home.

Looking shaken, Susan said she counted herself lucky as a falling branch missed her car parked outside her house.

Another resident in USJ13, K. Muniandy, 47, said the winds were so strong that it “violenty shook large trees.”

“A tree uprooted in front of my house and almost landed on my lorry,” he said, adding that it was an unforgettable experience similar to a scene from the movie Twister.

Fire and Rescue Department personnel clearing a road in Subang Jaya yesterday.

A USJ18 resident, who declined to be named, appealed to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to prune tall and shady trees before the onslaught of the monsoon.

“The council workers only cut off a few side branches leaving the top exposed and posing a hazard.

“We want them to act fast before any untoward incident occurs,” he said.

S. Dhanabalan, 45, who lives in USJ8/4, said he was having a shower when the hailstorm struck followed by strong winds.

Trees were uprooted after the storm hit the residential area in USJ13. – NORMAN HIU/ The Star.

“An uprooted tree fell on my car, damaging it slightly,” he said, adding that four other trees were also uprooted.

His neighbour S. Vignes Wararao, 25, said the hailstones, some as big as 2cm, fell continuously for about 15 seconds.

He lamented that the authorities were slow to respond in clearing up the mess and rendering assistance.

He said the roof tiles of several homes were blown off, leaving gaping holes for rainwater to pour into the homes.

The uprooted trees damaged cars in USJ9 after the storm.

MPSJ public relations assistant director Azfarizal Abdul Rashid said about 10 reports of uprooted trees and broken branches were received.

“We have activated our natural disaster operations room which operates round-the-clock.

“We are ready to receive public complaints and to co-ordinate with other relevant authorities to carry out joint operations,” he said, adding that contractors were clearing up the uprooted trees and branches.

Article Source http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/11/14/nation/9898537&sec=nation

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