Thursday, April 23, 2009

Forces of nature during Earth Day

Pamela shared with me her horror-story fiction-like experience while she was walking home last night alone... where branches of trees were breaking and dropping, pile of sand blown like a sand storm, eerie ghostly-like howling strong wind, trampoline sheets flapping vigorously, twigs flying towards her... etc etc. When she finally stepped into her house, the rain then started. Thank God for protection.

Well yesterday was Earth Day. Maybe you might be thinking, so what about Earth Day? The Earth is nothing that spectacular after all, we humans are then the ones that are mighty. We can build roads, high-rise apartments, machines, cut down forests, remove a mountain, reclaim lots of land... The planet is just a resource for humans to exploit.

And how adequate was last night, moments before the end of Earth Day that a strong gale of wind hit Singapore, destroying lots of things like trees falling apart etc. These gave a sign of the forces of nature that we have no control over. And mind you, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Nothing compared to the typhoon or hurricane other countries experience.


PHOTO: COURTESY OF ST.COM READER PROKINETIC

One of the Straits Times online reader shared this photo of the lightning without thunder when the strong wind came. It look very magnificent to me at least. It's like the Earth, or maybe God, telling us that hey! remember that the powers of nature is still very strong. We should respect nature and the creation of God in whatever ways, big or small. That is what Earth Day is for: to acknowledge that the Earth is our only home and we should not destroy it just for our short term gain.

OK, here's the article to share :-)

By Felicia Wong and Derrick Ho; The Straits Times; April 23, 2009


(Photo: from STOMP)

A FREAKISH storm with strong winds uprooted trees, damaged cars and left a trail of destruction on Wednesday night, all within about 15 minutes.

There were numerous reports of fallen trees island-wide, with at least one car damaged by the falling branches in an open carpark. At a housing estate in Dover Road, a large tree almost snapped in half and lay fallen on its side, with other branches strewn across the grassy area.

Eyewitnesses also reported that large plastic barricades used in roadworks were blown across a road by the strong winds, causing traffic obstruction. Pham Tan Hung found a large tree fallen outside Hong Leong Gardens in Clementi while on his way to work on Thursday morning. 'It's a shocking scene to me. It covered the whole walking path to the bus stop, around 6 to 8 metres,' he wrote to straitstimes.com

Weather maps from the National Environmental Agency (NEA)'s website showed that a rain storm blew over Singapore shortly after 11pm on Wednesday.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were also abuzz with postings about the freak storm. Bloggers in Singapore also recounted personal stories, with many saying they were awoken by the violent rattling and slamming of doors caused by the winds. Others reported car alarms going off.

'We had to duck from the many things that were blowing out of control. There was a road block signage that blew across a major road. heavy duty dustbins dropped like bowling pins. We had to take refuge on the outside of a building' wrote mistipurple on her blog.

'I don't know how widely the winds could have travelled, but tonight for about five minutes, I experienced one of the strongest winds since returning to Singapore,' wrote blogger mis-erialc.

'In fact, I don't remember a time that we've ever experienced winds so strong. As the wind repeatedly assaulted my blinds, I couldn't help but look outside at the environmental commotion it was causing - the bending of trees, the picking up and tossing around of random objects outside.'

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UPDATE:

A spokesperson for the NEA had the following comments:

"A 'Sumatra' squall is a line of eastward moving intense thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds that usually occurs between April and September.

"An average of 2-3 'Sumatra' squalls occur in a month during this period. It normally develops overnight in Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca, and affects Singapore between midnight and 9am.

"Maximum wind gusts of up to 90 km per hour from a 'Sumatra' squall have been recorded in the past.

"The strong winds that affected Singapore last night between 11 pm (22 Apr 09) and 12:30 am (23 Apr 09) were caused by an intense fast-moving 'Sumatra' squall.

"Mean wind speeds ranging from 33 to 54 km per hour were recorded across the island. The highest recorded wind gust was 83 km per hour in the western areas.

"A wind gust is a sudden brief increase in the speed of the wind.

"Short duration showers fell over most parts of the island but were heavy in only a few areas. The highest rainfall of 7.0 mm was recorded around Sembawang.

"A wind gust of similar strength was last recorded on Jun 20 2000.

"For the rest of the month, we can expect another one or two 'Sumatra' squalls but they are unlikely to be as severe as the one last night."

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More photos compiled from STOMP at Ivan's blog: http://lazy-lizard-tales.blogspot.com/2009/04/storm-winds-whip-spore-just-look-at.html

2 comments:

APRIL LORIER said...

I think God knows we humans need reminders that HE is the One in control! Your post was very productive in that way. A great reminder! God bless you big time!

koksheng said...

Thank you April!

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