The sun that had shown so brightly in the morning was giving barely any light now, instead everything looked grey. The air was cooled and heavy. Dark clouds raced across the sky. The wind has howling monstrously and was blowing with increased velocity. The seemingly sudden darkening sky as though a curtain has been pulled across the sky. It was a harbinger of a fierce storm. People soon realized it and hurried to their homes.
Ditto for me. Immediately, I accelerated my pace. Once reached home, I saw my mom frantically running about the house closing windows and doors and retrieving clothes left on the porch.
Then came the rain, first a drizzle, followed by a heavy downpour. It was seriously grim and chilly. As the wind roared like an angry beast, the rain was hitting the ground like bullets from a gun. Above, the sky was black with the menacing rainclouds until the cracks of lightning broke the darkness. Lightning bolts lit up the sky as though somebody had flicked a light on and off. The bolt had elbowed its way through the sky at the violent speed of light. The flashes of lightening were like skeletal fingers of incandescence reaching down to stroke the Earth, splitting the sky into two!I peered out of the window just as a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree.
Subsequently, it was followed by a loud cracking sound of the breaking bough. While the other trees which had been stripped bent their legs, overwhelmed by the strong wind. I could hear the wind in its rustling. It rained cats and dogs for more than three days. We learnt later that the downpour had dumped more than 230mm of rain in just over two hours.
The storm, the worst in the last decade or so, left a trail of disaster. As scores of people hurried to find shelters, three of them were hit by flying debris.They were given outpatient treatment at a nearby clinic. The squatter houses in our housing area were the hardest hit.
Parts of the zinc roofs were ripped off while others were badly damaged. The incessant rain caused a nearby stream to swell and overflow its banks. Several houses were inundated and the muddy floods left a trail of mud in the compounds of the houses and along the roads.
Mud and slime were also plastered on the walls of most houses. Only the children seemed to be having a whale of time frolicking in the knee-deep muddy water.Meanwhile, all the 200 homes in my area experienced a power failure which lasted for more than a day. Electricity and telephone wires dangled lifelessly. The floods caused people to be stranded. Many people took the day off to give a helping hand to the other members of the family.
Several trees were uprooted but fortunately no one was hurt. Continuous rain for three days took its toll on the hill slopes in the area sending an avalanche of trees, earth and other debris and causing damage to the houses at the foot of the slope.There was little that the residents could do except to stand and watch the storm unleashing its fury. Finally, after three days, the raging storm relented and the ferocious winds receded. The disastrous storm left behind a heavy smell of petrichor – mineral scents unleashed by the quenched thirst of the earth. It took more than a week for things to return to normal. Residents spent hours washing away the mud from their houses.
Tenaga Nasional crew worked around the clock to restore electricity supply and to repair the severed telephone links.Town council workers helped to remove uprooted trees. Residents took a long time to recover from the devastating storm. The residents, fearing another storm, followed the weather forecasts by the meteorological station. The terrifying storm aftermath still remains vividly in my head.
Nevertheless, there will be always a rainbow after the rain. We are grateful for no life had lost in the disaster. I have learnt that our world could be turned upside down in an instant hence we should to take a moment and appreciate what we have.