Three more trees fall as monsoon season returns

The incident in Hougang took place around 10.50am on Tuesday at Block 703 Hougang Avenue 2.
The incident in Hougang took place around 10.50am on Tuesday at Block 703 Hougang Avenue 2.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO, LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Two more trees have fallen as the monsoon season returns, with one tree along the pavement in Hougang landing on two cars on Tuesday (Dec 3), and one fallen tree that missed a jogger at Old Upper Thomson Road on Wednesday.

This comes after a tree was toppled following heavy rain in Bedok North on Monday, landing on a black Mercedes-Benz.

Earlier on Nov 20, a tree fell on a white Subaru car in Scotts Road, shattering the rear windscreen.

The incident in Hougang took place around 10.50am on Tuesday at Block 703 Hougang Avenue 2. The tree toppled onto two cars, smashing the rear windscreen of a red Toyota, Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao reported. The other white Honda vehicle which was farther away had a dent in the roof.

There were no reported injuries.

Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) staff were seen at the scene clearing the fallen tree. They told Lianhe Wanbao that two more trees were cut down to prevent future incidents.

Another tree also fell across Old Upper Thomson Road and the park connector beside it on Wednesday at about 7.40pm.

Mr Vincent Chan, 49, told The Straits Times that he was on his evening jog along the road when he heard cracking sounds and saw the tree fall about 100m in front of him.

The photographer estimated the tree to be about three to four storeys high.


A tree fell across Old Upper Thomson Road and the park connector beside it on Dec 5, 2019. PHOTO: VINCENT CHAN

Mr Chan reported the incident to the National Parks Board (NParks), and added: “I was shocked and shouted to check if anyone was trapped under the tree or needed assistance, but nobody responded. It was dark.”

He took pictures of the fallen tree and sent them to citizen journalism website Stomp.

Mr Chan also told Stomp that “if I had been 30 seconds faster, I would have gotten hit by the tree too”.

Over in Bedok North, another tree fell in the early morning at 1am on Wednesday. The tree fell between blocks 76 and 77, affecting the laundry racks of two households, said Ms Cheryl Chan, Fengshan MP, in a Facebook post on Wednesday. No casualties were reported.


A tree in Bedok North fell between blocks 76 and 77. PHOTO: CHERYL CHAN/FACEBOOK

Mr Rick Thomas, principal arborist of ArborCulture, told The Straits Times that heavy rains would soften the soil surrounding the trees, causing them to provide less support. This, coupled with strong winds, may decrease tree stability.

"Trees should be regularly inspected, including the ground in which they grow and the trees themselves. In the situations that a tree crown or branches become overly extended, too heavy or suffer defects; tree pruning or other recommendations by the assessing arborists should apply," he added.

ST has contacted AHTC, People's Action Party town councils and NParks for more information on the steps they are taking to prevent further tree-falling incidents.

Additional reporting by Jean Iau