KUALA LUMPUR: Tents are no match for Mother Nature’s tantrums, no matter how sturdy.

Residents of Kampung Parit Sagil, Ayer Hitam, Johor can attest to this, after witnessing three ceremony canopies being blown away like tissue paper during a freak storm yesterday.

In the 6pm incident, the three large tents – which were equipped with ceiling fans and festooned with decorative cloth – were blown off their foundations and into a nearby river, into which they promptly sank.

The tents’ loss occurred despite the heroic efforts of the canopy company’s employees to keep the installations earthbound.

The staff members’ struggle was captured in a one-minute-and-30-second mobile phone-shot video, which has since gone viral on social media.

From the very start of the footage, it is clear that the effort to keep the tents from being destroyed is a losing battle. The ferocious winds and blowing rain of the 20-minute storm are formidable, and violently lash the men and women holding on to each tent pole for dear life.

The final 23 seconds of the video are the most alarming, as it shows one of the large tents toppling over and rolling away, as bystanders scream and staff members – left exposed by the fugitive tent - scramble towards the safety to a nearby surau.

Mohd Sharani Aslin, 46 – owner of the tent company, Ara Canopy – said he incurred losses of RM10,000 in the incident. His company had been hired for a gathering of the Parit Raja Farmers’ Association, and was taken by complete surprise by the freak occurrence.

Sharani nevertheless expressed thankfulness that no one was injured in the storm.

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A screen grab from the viral video captured the staff members’ struggle in a one-minute-and-30-second mobile phone-shot video.

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