High winds wreak havoc

Man injured, barns flattened in sudden storm

At Chew's Group, four chicken barns were flattened by the winds, which were so strong that they ripped off zinc panels and carried some of them as far as the Muslim cemetery, 200m away. Left: Madam Dewi Surianti said the strong winds blew her mother
Madam Dewi Surianti said the strong winds blew her mother off her seat as she tried to hold onto a picnic umbrella.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF, ARIFFIN JAMAR
At Chew's Group, four chicken barns were flattened by the winds, which were so strong that they ripped off zinc panels and carried some of them as far as the Muslim cemetery, 200m away. Left: Madam Dewi Surianti said the strong winds blew her mother
Police set up a cordon near Murai Farmway after the storm.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF, ARIFFIN JAMAR

Wild weather in Lim Chu Kang also brought down tree branches

For 10 harrowing minutes yesterday afternoon, flower seller Dewi Surianti, her mother and a 10-year-old girl took cover under a table as heavy branches fell around them.

They held onto its legs so it would not get blown away.

It had been drizzling just minutes earlier at Pusara Abadi Muslim cemetery, off Lim Chu Kang Road, and they had no inkling of what was to come.

Then all of a sudden, the wind picked up and the rain came pelting down, said Madam Surianti, 41.

"My mother was holding onto the picnic umbrella to steady it," she said in Malay. "But it (the wind) was so strong that she flew off her seat while holding onto the umbrella.

"We were so scared we all tried to squeeze under the small table. I started praying."

 Madam Dewi Surianti said the strong winds blew her mother
At Chew's Group, four chicken barns were flattened by the winds, which were so strong that they ripped off zinc panels and carried some of them as far as the Muslim cemetery, 200m away. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

A drenched Madam Surianti was picking up her flowers and belongings from the ground when The Straits Times spoke to her at the side of the road leading to the cemetery.

Just 200m away at Murai Farmway, it looked as if a tornado had ploughed through the area.

At least two farms are believed to have been affected by the sudden storm.

At Chew's Group, four chicken barns were flattened by the winds.

Police said they were alerted to a case of an injured person at Koon Lee Nursery in Murai Farmway at about 3.50pm.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it responded to a call for an ambulance at 4pm.

A 38-year-old man was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. ST understands that the plant nursery worker had suffered injuries to his leg and abrasions on his body.

The force of the winds was so great that it caused some zinc panels to cut into tree branches.

 

Other panels landed at the Muslim cemetery some 200m away, said graveyard worker Yusof Simen, 44.

"We immediately stopped work and ran for shelter. I can't imagine the injury if the zinc panels had hit a person," he said in Malay.

Nearby, the road leading to the Chinese cemetery was blocked by uprooted trees and fallen branches.

Cars were seen reversing out of the narrow road.

Fish farmer Simon Wu, who had stopped to talk to reporters in Murai Farmway, said he did not know the extent of the damage to his farm. When contacted last night, Mr Wu, 55, declined to say more.

Similarly, the owner of Chew's Group would not comment.

Lim Chu Kang Road was not the only area affected by the thunderstorm. There were incidents of fallen trees in Bukit Batok and Choa Chu Kang.



ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Heavy winds flatten chicken coops in Lim Chu Kang

Hundreds of chickens belonging to Chew's Group in Lim Chu Kang were left without shelter after at least four large coops were battered and flattened by strong winds after yesterday's heavy downpour in various locations across the island. Over at the nearby Koon Lee Nursery, a 38-year-old worker was taken to hospital after suffering injuries on his leg and abrasions on his body.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'Man injured, barns flattened in sudden storm'. Print Edition | Subscribe