Thunderstorm damages farms in Lim Chu Kang, one worker injured

ST VIDEO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.
Collapsed structures are seen at a farm belonging to Chew's Group after a thunderstorm on March 30, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - At least two farms in Murai Farmway near the Lim Chu Kang cemetery were severely damaged in a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon (March 30).

A 38-year-old worker at a plant nursery was taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries.

When The Straits Times visited at about 6.30pm, chickens were seen still trapped in the collapsed structures at a farm belonging to Chew's Group, though some were able to escape. Its owner declined to comment.

Several people were still working to clear up the debris in the affected area.

Graveyard worker Yusof Simen, 44, said he was shocked to see flying zinc from a chicken farm landing on graves more than 200m away. A worried-looking fish farmer Simon Wu, 55, said he does not know the extent of the damage to his farm. 

Flower seller Dewi Surianti, her mother and a 10-year-old girl took cover under a table for 10 harrowing minutes during the storm as heavy branches fell around them. They held on to its legs so it won’t get blown away.

It had been drizzling just minutes earlier, and they had no inkling of what was to come.

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

“My mother was holding on to 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.”

A drenched Madam Surianti was picking up her flowers and belongings strewn on the ground when ST spoke to her at the side of the road leading to Pusara Abadi Muslim cemetery, off Lim Chu Kang Road.

In a video sent by Straits Times reader Kenny Koh, 31, the zinc structures of a chicken farm are seen razed to the ground after the strong winds.

Mr Koh, who works as an operations manager at a fish farm in the area, told ST on Friday that the roof at the chicken farm had been blown away.

"The structures had collapsed. The area affected is at least the size of three football fields," he said, adding that he had taken the video at about 4.40pm while on the way to his workplace.

Other farms in the area were similarly affected, including Mr Koh's, who said that trees had fallen in the premises.

Mr Koh also noticed that road signs and trees along the stretch had fallen off.


Chickens are trapped in the collapsed structures at a farm belonging to Chew's Group, though some were able to escape. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Police told The Straits Times they were alerted to a case of an injured person at Koon Lee Nursery at 2, Murai Farmway, at about 3.50pm.

The 38-year-old man was conscious when taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it responded to a call for ambulance assistance at 4pm.

ST understands that the worker at the plant nursery had suffered injuries on his leg and abrasions on his body.