KUALA TERENGGANU: It lasted barely an hour but a freak storm that hit the town ravaged shophouses, restaurants and houses on Saturday.
The storm, which struck at about 9pm, left restaurants with their roofs blown away.
Restaurant owner Syed Omar Syed Abu Bakar, 47, said there were about 10 customers in his outlet at the time and all were drenched when the roof was blown off.
“It happened so suddenly. One minute the customers were enjoying their food and the next they were soaked,” he said, adding that the storm was by far the worst he had ever seen in his four years in business.
He estimated his losses at more than RM10,000 as he now needed to repair the roof and replace items the storm damaged.
Boutique owner Nur Hasnah Mohd Yassin, 25, whose shop is located near Chabang Tiga here, also said the roof was blown away.
“I started the business barely two months ago, and I have to start from scratch again. All the dresses and accessories were drenched in the storm,” she said.
Student Chan Siew Min, 23, who was eating at an outlet along Jalan Pejabat, said the glass doors toppled and shattered.
“It was truly a horrifying experience and I am thankful that no accident or injury was reported as I saw signboards, trash bins and road cones flying around while I was driving back home,” she said.
State Meteorological department assistant director Norhisham Muhamad said the freak storm was caused by the southwest monsoon which hit the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
“Terengganu and Kelantan were also affected due to the remnants of the strong wind, which had been predicted to hit only Perlis and Kedah.
“The monsoon, which includes storms and torrential rain, is expected until Tuesday, but Kelantan and Terengganu should not be affected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Welfare department director Zuhaimi Omar said the storm ravaged houses in various districts such as Setiu and Marang but the worst hit district was Kuala Terengganu with 171 houses affected. -theStarOnline