Environmental News Archive

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Heavy rain, strong winds caused tree to fall in nature reserve

By Pearl Forss & Chua Su Sien, Channel NewsAsia
16 May 2007 2136 hrs

SINGAPORE: The tree, which fell on three women at the Bukit Batok Nature Reserve on Tuesday, was a healthy tree, said the National Parks Board (NParks).

But it was a combination of factors such as strong winds, continuous rain over several days and softened soil which caused the tree to be uprooted.

The 10-storey high tree collapsed on Tuesday morning, killing one and injuring two others.

When Channel NewsAsia visited the site on Wednesday, an even larger area was cordoned by the authorities to conduct checks on the trees.

NParks said Tuesday's heavy rain softened the soil, and with exceptionally strong winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, the Albizia tree, which has weak roots, was uprooted.

The tree grows in the wild and is not usually found in parks.

Bukit Batok Nature Reserve, where the incident occurred, is a secondary forest.

Ben Lee, Head, Nature Trekker, said: "I would advise those who are going to nature reserves or parks to be careful and to look out for sounds and cracks within the vicinity of your walking space."

Other secondary forests in Singapore are mostly found in the central catchment area as well as on Pulau Ubin.

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