Work to repair damage begins as rain that triggered floods, landslips eases

Areas in Havelock, Fort Canning and Loyang affected; expressway slip road closed for repair works on slope

Staff cleaning and repairing a pump yesterday that was damaged after D'Best Fishing in Pasir Ris Town Park was flooded on Saturday. The fishing pond's managing director said the flood had damaged cables and diluted the water's salinity, and this coul
Staff cleaning and repairing a pump yesterday that was damaged after D'Best Fishing in Pasir Ris Town Park was flooded on Saturday. The fishing pond's managing director said the flood had damaged cables and diluted the water's salinity, and this could kill the fish.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

After two consecutive days of downpours that triggered landslips and flooding around the island, the rain finally began to ease yesterday, with slivers of blue sky and streaks of sunshine emerging in some spots for the first time this year.

The mercury inched up and water levels receded in flooded areas, though the weather remained cool and windy with an average daily temperature of 24 deg C at the Changi climate station as at 5pm. The lowest daily minimum temperature was 22.3 deg C in Jurong West yesterday, up from the 21.1 deg C recorded in Newton on Saturday.

Works to repair the damage inflicted kicked off, with areas in Havelock, Fort Canning and Loyang cordoned off as repairs were done.

At Fort Canning Park, heavy storms sent a 22m-tall tree on the slope of Fort Canning Hill crashing down on Saturday morning, with some of its branches landing on the sheltered outdoor escalator that connects Fort Canning MRT station to the hill's peak.

Mr Ryan Lee, group director of Fort Canning Park and Istana at the National Parks Board, said the heritage tree - a Ficus kurzii or Burmese banyan - was uprooted as a result of soil failure due to the consecutive days of heavy rain.

There was no one in the vicinity at that time, but the fallen tree damaged a section of the escalator, which has been closed till further notice.

A video circulated on social media also showed a landslip taking place in Pasir Ris.

The impact of the landslip, which occurred beside the slip road of Tampines Expressway heading towards Loyang Avenue on Saturday, caused seven drain railings of a monsoon drain to give way.

"Based on our preliminary investigations, the stability of the slip road is currently not affected," said the Land Transport Authority in a Facebook post yesterday.

The slip road has been closed since Saturday night as a precautionary measure, to facilitate repair works on the slope.


A slope near Furama RiverFront hotel covered with canvas sheets following a landslip on Saturday due to heavy rain. The Singapore Land Authority said its professional engineer has assessed that the slope is stable, and its contractor has cordoned off the area. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Heavy rain also led to a landslip on Saturday on a slope that connects Outram Secondary School on York Hill to Furama RiverFront hotel.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said its professional engineer has assessed that the slope is stable, and its contractor has cordoned off the area and covered the slope with canvas sheets to prevent more soil from slipping in the interim before repair works are carried out.

There were also minor landslips on Kusu Island, Lazarus Island and St John's Island on Saturday. "For public safety, the affected areas have been cordoned off until further notice. The professional engineer will assess and recommend the appropriate repair works," said the SLA, which advised the public to stay away from such sites when the weather is bad.

The highest daily total rainfall recorded was 6.6mm in Simei and East Coast Parkway as at 5pm yesterday, a sharp drop from the 210.6mm recorded at the Changi climate station on Saturday.

At D'Best Fishing in Pasir Ris Town Park, which was flooded on Saturday, water levels began receding.

But Mr Peter Lew, managing director of Singapore's only commercial saltwater fishing pond, said the flood had damaged cables and diluted the salinity of the pond, which could kill the fish.

"Some are already floating on the surface, which means they are dying... I've also lost money as many customers have called off their fishing plans due to the weather conditions," he added.

For the next few days, thundery showers are expected in the afternoon, and the temperature is forecast to range between 24 deg C and 33 deg C, said the Meteorological Service Singapore yesterday.

  • Additional reporting by Kevin Lim


ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Heritage tree falls at Fort Canning Hill

Workers were yesterday seen removing a fallen 22m-tall heritage tree at Fort Canning Hill.     Intense rainfall over the first two days of the new year toppled the tree on Saturday morning, as it became a casualty of soil failure caused by waterlogging. Parts of an outdoor escalator connecting Jubilee Park near Fort Canning MRT station to the hill's peak were damaged in the fall. The National Parks Board said there was no one near the tree when it fell. The escalator has been closed off to the public until further notice. The tree, a Ficus kurzii, also known as Burmese banyan, is a rare species that is distributed in scattered locations throughout western parts of South-east Asia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2021, with the headline 'Work to repair damage begins as rain that triggered floods, landslips eases'. Subscribe