IPOH, Feb 2 — The General Operations Force (PGA) Northern Brigade has mobilised its members and officers to help with the cleanup of houses which were damaged after a freak storm hit several areas here.

Assistant commanding officer DSP Mazian Jenal said the one-week operation to run from early morning until late in the afternoon, beginning today, will involve 18 personnel from 3rd Battalion PGA, Bidor and the number  would be increased if needed. 

He said the operation was mounted on the instruction of Bukit Aman Police Headquarters and to facilitate cleaning of debris and houses, the staff and officers have been divided into two teams.

“We want those affected to know that they are not alone as we are here to help ease their burden, more so, this is supposed to be a festive season and the disaster struck as they were about to usher in the Chinese New Year,” he said when met by reporters at the scene today.

Last Sunday, hundreds of houses in several areas, namely Taman Desa Seri Chepor, Kampung Tawas, Taman Tasek Damai and Kampung Seri Klebang Tambahan Jaya here, were damaged when a tornado-like storm hit at about 6pm.

The storm also caused electricity poles to topple and trees uprooted but no injuries or casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, a resident of Desa Sri Chepor Structured Housing Plan (RPT), Azmi Mohd Rashid,  56, said, the area had often been hit by strong winds and storm but this incident was the worst she has experienced so far.

“A few minutes before the storm, the weather was fine, suddenly I saw smoke billowing and heard prayer chants from neighbours, then in the blink of an eye, a whirlwind hit our house. I quickly took my grandchild, ran into the house and hid under the bed for protection,” she said.

Azmi, who has been putting up at a homestay said, except for her grandchild who suffered sore eyes due to the dust, the rest of her family members were doing well, though still traumatised by the incident.

“I feel sad because we have just repaired the house roofing for the upcoming Hari Raya celebration. In any case, we are grateful for PGA’s help and concern,” she said. — Bernama