GEORGE TOWN: A thunderstorm blew havoc in Penang uprooting trees and causing gridlock on major roads here on Thursday.
The strong winds, which started at 7pm, blew off a 40m section of a pole located on top of the 21-storey Menara Umno in Macalister Road.
Trees were also uprooted in several places, falling on parked cars.
In Tanjong Tokong, roof awnings was seen flying off from houses.
Five people including two seriously injured were sent to the hospital.
Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said a man, who was walking up the Air Itam Dam during the storm, died after suffering a heart attack when a falling tree narrowly missed him.
The Meteorological Department said the storm lasted for about one hour from 7pm.
On Macalister Road, a man was seriously injured after the pole fell off the building. At least seven cars and a lorry were damaged by the debris.
Gridlock were reported in several areas such as Esplande, Weld Quay, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Masjid Negeri.
Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said 23 areas were affected by the storm.
He said the police were working with the other authorities to clear the debris caused by the storm.