The Star, 9 Jan 2013
JOHOR BARU: Fears of tropical storm Sonamu hitting Johor struck residents here when strong winds blew away tree branches and advertisement billboards in several areas.
Residents in some areas reported of downpour, uprooted trees and the sky turning unusually dark.
Nurse Anabelle Quah, 29, said she was driving home to Seri Alam from the city centre when she saw a whirlwind of dried leaves blowing across the street.
“It was not raining, but twigs and shrubs along the roadside were strewn all over the road,” she said.
“I also saw a broken tree branch that narrowly missed a lorry,” she said, adding that she had read in The Star about typhoon Sonamu heading towards the coastal areas of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
“I am scared that it may also move to the south.”
Housewife Janet Pereira, 54, from Skudai, said she was airing her laundry in the afternoon when she felt a strong gush of wind and the sky suddenly turned an eerie dark.
“A downpour followed and some trees in my housing area were uprooted,” she said, adding that she had not seen such a storm since moving into the area six years ago.
Permas Jaya resident Nishanti Singh, 22, said the storm, which lasted about two hours from 3pm, caused damages to household items.
“I heard a loud noise in my living room and found that some glass decorative items had toppled over and shattered due to the strong winds that blew in from the window,” she said.
However, a meteorological department spokesman said the storm that hit Johor Baru and other districts like Muar and Mersing were not linked to the Sonamu.
“It was an ordinary storm with heavy rainfall and strong winds in the southern part of the peninsula,” he said, adding that the winds passed through several areas in Johor from the South China Sea.