International defense show venue damaged in storm on Malaysian resort island

An international defense exhibition will go ahead as scheduled next week, even though a violent storm tore apart and flooded the show's venue in northeast Malaysia, organizers said Friday.

Strong winds ripped part of the roof off the Mahsuri International Exhibition Center on the resort island of Langkawi on Wednesday night, then rain fell steadily for hours, washing out two halls that are supposed to host the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, said Ahmad Dzuhri, managing director of HW Lima Sdn. Bhd.

The storm caused damage to the maritime exhibit area _ which was being managed by HW Lima _ estimated at 10,000 ringgit to 55,000 ringgit (US$2,500 to $14,500; Ђ2,100 to Ђ12,400), but it will be fixed by Sunday, Dzuhri said.

The Star newspaper reported that firefighters drained the floodwater from the venue Thursday morning. Le Proton LIMA Sdn. Bhd., which was handling the aerospace section, said checks were being carried out to determine the safety of the venue, the AP reports.

"Apart from the roof being blown off, there is no structural damage," The Star quoted company official Lila Ruzaimi as saying. She was not immediately reachable for comment. A.M.

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