Mini tornado strikes Kedah state, the fourth to hit Malaysia this year

Scene of disaster: One of the houses in Kampung Sungai Nonang badly damaged after it was hit by a mini tornado on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Scene of disaster: One of the houses in Kampung Sungai Nonang badly damaged after it was hit by a mini tornado on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Screengrab of the mini tornado in Kedah on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: YOUTUBE PAGE OF SWITCHUP.TV/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Screengrab of the mini tornado in Kedah on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: YOUTUBE PAGE OF SWITCHUP.TV/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

ALOR SETAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Less than two weeks after a mini tornado struck a town in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia, another one made its presence felt, this time damaging 20 houses, four shophouses and a goat pen.

The freak storm that happened at about 2.30pm on Wednesday at Kampung Sungai Nonang, Jalan Batas Paip in Alor Setar, also damaged several vehicles, uprooted trees and blew off the roof panels of several buildings.

Also, a villager said his car was "carried" 10m away from his porch.

Kedah Fire and Rescue Department investigation division assistant director Mohamad Yunus Abu said there were no reports of anyone being injured by the storm.

He said his men and several personnel from the Kota Setar Civil Defence Department, led by C. Sehgar, rushed to clear fallen trees before nightfall.

National Weather Centre senior meteorological officer Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip said it was the fourth mini tornado to hit the country this year, all in Kedah.

The first was in Pendang on Oct 14, the second in Mergong on Oct 31, and the third also in Mergong on Nov 2.

"It could happen again but the chances are slim. I hope this will be the last one as the weather turns for the better next month," he said.

Dr Mohd Hisham also said that Wednesday's mini tornado was caused by north-easterly winds blowing from the South China Sea.

"We expect the wet weather to move to the east coast soon," he said.

Villager Jamal Mat Ali, 49, was not at home when the storm hit and was relieved to find that his family members escaped injury.

"My car, which was parked in the porch, was sucked up by the tornado and I found it lying on top of an uprooted tree about 10m from my house. Other villagers helped me move it back to my home," he said.

The roof of his house was also damaged, along with most of his furniture.

His daughter Nurul Atiqah, 17, who is sitting for her SPM examination, was upset as her revision books were damaged during the storm.

Another villager, Nur Faezah Harun, 46, was stunned when she saw roof panels being ripped off by the mini tornado.

"I was outside when I saw it blowing away the roofs of other houses. And when it started moving towards me, I rushed into my house.

"I hugged my four-month-old daughter while my four other children hid in the house for safety," she said.

The roof of her home was also partly blown off by the storm but she was thankful that none of her family members was injured in the incident.