Malaysians are normally afraid of a storm only after it rains continuously for an hour, raising the fear of flash flood. However, two parts of Malaysia had weathered an unseen-before storm right in front of their eyes last weekend as ice pellets were falling from the sky.
According to The Star, parts of Kuching and Kota Samarahan were met with falling hailstones for 10 to 15 minutes at about 4pm yesterday (Aug 12). Photos and videos of the hailstorm quickly circulated on social media as the residents were shocked to see their town was attacked by showers of ice marbles.
The size of the hailstones varies from the size of a regular marble ball to something as big as a golf ball. NST reported that there was no apparent damage inflicted on the roofs of the cars parked along Jalan Tabuan.
A witness known only as Joseph told the daily that he was shocked when he heard “stone-like object” hitting his car roof, creating unrhythmic drumming thuds. He said, “I realised something was amiss when I saw ‘ice cubes’ littering the road. I immediately sought shelter as I was afraid that they might smash my windshield.”
Joseph stopped his car under a large tree and related that he experienced a similar incident 18 years ago.
“In the year 2000, I was hit by hailstones while riding my motorcycle in Padungan, Kuching. I never thought that something like that could happen again,” he said
Another witness shared his experience with The Borneo Post. Henry Gunya, who lived along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway, said his family was startled by the sudden loud downpour. He said his daughter Ellyn had moved their car into the sheltered porch in fear that the hailstorm would break the car windscreen. Ellyn took a picture with some hailstones and shared it with the daily.
Whereas for Pahang, Kuala Lipis also encountered a similar storm last Friday (Aug 10) which lasted for about 20 minutes. The people of the sleepy town were alarmed by the sudden storm and many of them were seen scurrying to seek shelter especially for those who were driving.
The Star reported that the hailstones were also about the size of marbles. Being an unusual event in the peninsula, many people started scooping a handful of the hailstones and shared pictures of them on the social media.
“This was the first time we experienced a hailstorm, so you can imagine our mixed emotions, excitement and fear,” said a 35-year-old resident, Ahmad Nazree Sahbudin.
Actually, Malaysia is not a stranger to hailstorms despite most people nationwide had never witnessed one. Earlier this year on March 20, Ipoh was met with a freaky thunderstorm as ice pellets started falling to the ground at about 5pm. The curious Ipohians also feared the unknown and sought shelters to protect their cars.