Freak storm wreaks havoc in Johor Bahru

Strong winds during the storm blew off the roof of a shop selling used cars in Kampung Pasir, Jalan Skudai, Johor Bahru, today. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: A number of houses, shops and vehicles were badly damaged during a freak storm that hit Johor Bahru and Iskandar Puteri this afternoon.

The roofs of several houses in Kampung Pasir here were blown off. To make matters worse, its occupants also had to deal with flash floods.

One resident, Hishamudin Ma’in, 48, described the 3.30pm incident as almost like a “typhoon”, adding that the storm only abated two hours later.

“It was like a typhoon had just hit. The wind was ferocious and the roof of my house was blown off.

“The sky was so dark and the wind so strong that we could not see anything outside,” he said at the scene.

The father of five children said although the villagers were quite used to flash floods, this was the first time the area had been hit by a storm of this magnitude.

Another resident, Zanariah Jaafar, 44, said her house porch area and the roof were destroyed in the storm that also ended with her home being inundated by floodwaters up to knee level.

“My car also suffered some damage. It was quite a traumatic incident, but I am thankful that my family escaped unharmed,” the mother of two said.

Meanwhile, Skudai fire and rescue department operations commander Faisal Ismail said three cars were hit by uprooted trees in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah here during the storm.

However, there were no casualties as the occupants managed to escape from their vehicles in time, he said.

State housing and local government committee chairman Jafni Md Shukor said the Johor state government was ready to help affected residents using the state disaster fund.

He said 20 houses in Kampung Pasir, 21 units of terrace houses in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah and 19 units at the Pekaka Flats in Iskandar Puteri had suffered roof damage due to the storm.

He said no temporary evacuation centre were opened following the incident.

The Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) and Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) acted speedily to help clean residents’ homes.

“For flats, it may be possible to use the disaster fund to repair the damages immediately as that is the state government’s responsibility.

“For the private homes, we can use the fund as well, with applications processed by the district office,” he said when visiting the affected homes in Kampung Pasir here tonight.

Jafni said the affected residents need to make a police report and list all damages before referring to the village head and penghulu for further action.

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