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Thursday May 15, 2008

Typhoon ‘tail’ leaves trail of destruction in Sarawak

MIRI: The freak storm that left a trail of destruction in northern Sarawak on Tuesday was caused by the “tail” of Typhoon Rammasun that raged near the Philippines.

According to the Sarawak Meteorological Department, the effects of the typhoon’s “tail” is expected to linger in the northern Borneo region, especially Miri and Limbang, until Saturday.

“The typhoon carries strong winds of more than 50kph and creates high waves of at least 4.5m in the South China Sea.

“We have issued warnings to small boats off northern Borneo until Saturday at least,” said the forecaster.

Spoilt shelter: Mak Eyah showing her damaged roof in Kampung Piasau yesterday.

The storm that hit the coast from Miri to Brunei between 8pm and 9pm on Tuesday uprooted giant trees, blew off roofs and bent metal signboards.

Yesterday morning saw affected residents busy cleaning up and repairing their homes.

Among the areas badly hit here were the Tudan resettlement scheme and Kampung Piasau near the city centre, while trees weighing tonnes along the Miri-Lutong highway and Pujut highway were uprooted.

Grandmother Mak Eyah, 70, saw her home in Kampung Piasau literally torn apart by winds that were reportedly the most ferocious in Miri in 20 years.

The wooden walls were badly damaged while the ceiling had huge gaping holes caused by twister winds.

“The winds came very suddenly. They lasted for one hour. The sound was frightening. They came through the open windows and blasted apart the walls and windows,” she said, voicing fears that a second storm might occur.

The Fire and Rescue Department received more than 40 reports related to the storm but there were no major injuries.

In Muar, HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH reports that firemen had a sleepless night as fierce storms uprooted trees in Pagoh, Kangkar Kenanga, Bakri, Kampung Parit Perupok and Jalan Lama.

The storms, which first hit Pagoh and Kangkar Kenanga before 3am, continued to uproot trees near Simpang Jeram in Bakri and Kampung Parit Perupok at about 3.30am.

Muar Fire Services and Rescue Department chief Shukor Abdullah said the worst hit was Kampung Simpang Jeram where trees damaged four houses and one dwelling had its roof blown away. No one was injured.

He said five teams with a total of 30 firemen were rushed to the affected areas to cut down the trees blocking roads and those which had hit the houses.


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