News: Afternoon storm brings traffic to a gridlock

The Star, 5 Jul 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Strong winds during a storm in the Klang Valley caused tree branches to fall on cars along Jalan Parlimen here, causing a traffic gridlock.

Ahmad Qusyairi Ahmad Zaini Japar was with his father in a car when they noticed a branch swaying menacingly in the afternoon gale.

The 26-year-old stepped on the accelerator but it was too late – the branch broke, plummeted and punched a hole in the car windscreen.

Ahmad Qusyairi said he was thankful he and his father, Bukit Kayu Hitam assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Zaini Japar, 57, had escaped unhurt despite the damage to his one-year-old Mitsubishi Lancer.

Another car travelling beside Ahmad Qusyairi was also damaged when the top part of the branch dented the roof, bonnet and boot.

Video editor Mohd Shafik Firdaus Mohtar, 24, was driving to work when he said he was jolted by a loud cracking noise which he thought was a thunderclap.

Traffic halted to a stop for about 40 minutes before City Hall workers arrived to remove the branch.

Traffic flow was restored 15 minutes later.

In Langkawi, floods inundated five areas following a downpour which was described as the heaviest in recent times.

The affected areas were Kuah, Kedawang, Ulu Melaka, Ayer Hangat and Pulau Tuba, with flood waters rising to 1.2m high in some places, said Langkawi MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad.

He added that 165 families were evacuated to two relief centres.

Nawawi said the rain, recorded at 220mm, was heavy compared with a normal downpour which brings 60mm of rain.

He expected the flood waters to recede within two days if the weather was good.

In George Town, visitors to the Esplanade were caught by surprise when big waves splashed water almost as high as the lampposts there.

The big waves had resulted from strong winds coupled with high tide.