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Wednesday September 28, 2011

Tail winds from Nesat wreak havoc in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Strong tail winds from typhoon Nesat wreaked havoc along Sabah’s west coast, knocking down power lines, uprooting trees and blowing dozens of rooftops away.

No one was reported hurt, but at least 15,000 consumers were affected by the outages.

Residents in coastal villages in Tanjung Aru, Putatan and Petagas were rudely awakened by the strong winds that began at about 4am yesterday.

State Meteorological Department director Abdul Malik Tussin said the winds as strong as 95kph were brought in by the tail of the typhoon that hit the northern Philippine island of Luzon.

“The typhoon is moving over Luzon now and heading towards Hainan (in China),” he said.

Abdul Malik said bad weather conditions were expected to continue until Oct 1, adding that the state’s west coast, Interior, Kudat district and Labuan would likely bear the brunt.

The department has issued a second category storm warning, meaning the sea is dangerous for all shipping activities including fishing and ferry services.

Meanwhile, a cafe manager at Tanjung Aru Beach here said a big casuarina tree fell and crushed tables and chairs at the esplanade.

“The tree damaged the cafe’s rooftop,” said First Beach Cafe manager Harold Tungcap Abdullah.

Nearby in Kg Tanjung Aru Lama, a housewife, who only wished to be identified as Juminah, said her house was almost destroyed in the blink of an eye.

“I was awakened by the sound of strong winds. My roof was gone and the walls of my kitchen had also been blown away.

“I quickly picked up my four small children and brought them to safety,” she said.

A group of eight anglers including four Spaniards feared to be missing returned safely at noon yesterday after waiting out the storm near Mengalum Island, about 60km from here.

“We got a radio call at 6.30pm that the typhoon was passing through and our vessel’s captain suggested we fish near the island, which is sheltered from strong winds,” said Kinabalu Yacht Club vice-commodore Bobby Willie.

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