A large tree along Marine Parade Road fell on 31 January outside Victoria Junior College in the afternoon, blocking all but one lane of the road and causing traffic disruptions. Thankfully, nobody was hurt or injured by the tree.

Heavy rain and strong winds had been reported in eastern Singapore on that afternoon, with viral videos spreading on social media of winds at East Coast Park tossing boats and rubbish bins. The phenomenon had been likened by some in the area to a “mini cyclone”.

Some time around 6pm, the tree fell amid strong winds; other sources indicated it was due to a lightning strike. The actual fall was captured on dashboard camera by Mr Jonathan Oh, a teacher at Victoria School who was heading to VJC, here. According to Mr Oh, this was recorded at 5.57pm.

Screenshot from Mr Oh’s dashcam video, depicting the instant the tree fell

Consequently, the road heading to Parkway Parade was completely closed, while only the bus lane was unobstructed for the road heading to Laguna Park. This resulted in traffic snarls along the area. Eastbound traffic had to squeeze into one lane, causing bottlenecks. Westbound traffic had no through road at all — the tree had fallen just shy of the U-turn spot, so cars were forced to U-turn and travel a short distance on the wrong side of the road. Buses, however, did not have sufficient space and had to wait for a formal route diversion.

Vehicles U-turning within their side of the road due to the fallen tree (photo: Ms Kok Mei Hui)

The fallen tree blocking the road (photo: Ms Kok Mei Hui)

Fortunately, as mentioned, the incident did not lead to any injuries or casualties. The disruption to traffic lasted several hours until workers were seen clearing the area around 8 in the evening.

With that, we would like to caution all Victorians to stay safe during rainy weather as is common during this season. Stay vigilant and take note of your surroundings, and do not panic. Nevertheless, this incident provides us with an excellent demonstration of why we should never seek shelter under trees during a rainstorm!

Article by:
Ryan Ch’ng, 16S47
Cover photo by:
Gigi Liu, 17A15

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