KUCHING: Shopkeepers and members of the public at Central Park commercial centre here were astonished when a small hailstorm hit the area soon after the start of a heavy afternoon downpour yesterday.
Hundreds of pea-sized translucent globes of ice rained down with a loud clatter as they bounced off the metallic surfaces of motor vehicles and rooftops and onto the roads and footways.
Some pieces of hail appeared to have had air bubbles frozen in their centre.
Many curious onlookers emerged to marvel at the unusual weather phenomenon that began around 4.30pm.
Two occupants of a sports utility vehicle that pulled up by the road shoulder when the storm started were spotted picking up the pellets of frozen rain and putting them in a plastic bag amid the tropical downpour.
However, the hailstorm lasted only a few minutes and the hail quickly melted away in the continuous rain.
The thunderstorm continued for half an hour before stopping altogether.