Several trees across Singapore fall amid widespread thunderstorm

Channel NewsAsia 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE: Several trees were uprooted amid strong winds and heavy showers in Singapore on Wednesday (May 8).

Fengshan Member of Parliament Cheryl Chan shared a photo of one of the fallen trees on her Facebook page, which was captured at Block 116 Bedok North Road.

"Due to heavy rain and strong winds this morning, trees have been reported to have fallen," said Ms Chan. "Town Council is working to clear the fallen trees. I seek residents' assistance to stay clear from those areas and please call Town Council for support in you find any in your area."

Meanwhile, a fallen tree reportedly caused a traffic jam that lasted more than an hour along the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) towards Tuas before Eng Neo Avenue on Wednesday morning.

The Land Transport Authority tweeted an advisory at about 11am, warning motorists of a congestion until the Thomson Road exit.​​​​​​​

Workers were also seen clearing a tree that had fallen along Portsdown Road on Wednesday afternoon. A number of fallen trees and branches were reported in eastern Singapore as well.

In a response to CNA's queries, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said the heavy downpour was due to the passage of two consecutive Sumatra squalls which had formed along the Strait of Malacca last night "as a result of strong convergence of air streams over the region".

"The squalls swept across Singapore between 2am and 5am and again between 9am and 11am.

"The highest total rainfall of 109.8mm was recorded at Jurong West between 2.05am and 2pm today. The most intense 30- and 60-minute rainfall were 52.8 mm and 71.9 mm recorded at Simei and Jurong West respectively," said the Met Service.

MSS also noted the "intense lightning" observed over the southern and western parts of Singapore during the thunderstorm, which it attributed to "intense convection within thunderstorm cells in a squall".

Earlier on Wednesday, the National Environment Agency tweeted that Singapore has an average of about 186 lightning days per year, with May being one of the months with the highest incidence of lightning activity.

Last month, the Met Service said widespread thundery showers with gusty winds were to be expected on three or five days in the second week of May.

It is expected to be hot as well, as May is one of the warmest months of the year.

Source: CNA/ga(hs)

Heavy rain topples trees; more thundery showers expected
Goh Yan Han Straits Times 9 May 19;

Heavy rain and strong winds lashed Singapore yesterday morning, leading to trees falling at several places islandwide.

A fallen tree on the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) towards Tuas before the Eng Neo Avenue exit led to a traffic jam lasting more than an hour.

At 11.13am, the Land Transport Authority tweeted that there was an obstacle on the PIE and warned of congestion till the Thomson Road exit. One road user was stuck in the congestion from 11.30am to 12.45pm, reported Stomp.

Fengshan MP Cheryl Chan uploaded a photo of a fallen tree next to Block 116 Bedok North Road around 11.30am.

She said the town council was working to clear fallen trees, and asked residents to stay clear of those areas and to call the town council if they came across any fallen trees.

In the eastern part of Singapore, a large tree branch fell at Bayshore Park condominium, hitting a car.

Housewife Mandy Lee, 60, said her family was waiting for a taxi when she heard a loud crash. The large branch from a 5m-tall tree fell near the guard house of her condominium, blocking the exit lane.

Chinese-language evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that there were at least four incidents of fallen trees in the east from the morning showers, but no one was injured.

A small tree was uprooted outside Mandarin Gardens condominium in Siglap, hitting a side gate, said Wanbao.

Early yesterday morning, the National Environment Agency (NEA) tweeted that moderate to heavy thundery showers were expected over many areas of Singapore from around 2.30am to 4.30am.

A later tweet said the showers were expected to continue over the southern and eastern areas between 4.25am and 5am. NEA tweeted at 9.14am that heavy thundery showers with gusty winds were expected over many areas between 9.45am and 11am.

According to NEA's website, thundery showers are expected over the next three days, either in the morning, or in the late morning and early afternoon.