“….in less than 5 minutes” – Ramesh
The freak storm that hit Ipoh Padang on Saturday, March 9 uprooted two century-old Casuarina Trees that had provided shade for generations of St Michael’s School students while waiting for their transport home.
Ipoh Echo’s Ramesh Kumar, who happened to be on the verandah of the Royal Ipoh Club overlooking Ipoh Padang, saw the two trees crashing down. “It happened in less than 5 minutes,” he exclaimed.
The rain started as a normal evening shower but this time the wind was stronger. For a brief moment the visibility was a mere 15 feet with the palm trees in the club garden blowing hard in one direction. When the storm subsided, I saw one of the trees closed to the club fall and minutes later another, at the far end of the field, being uprooted and falling onto the Padang.
I rushed to the scene to have a closer look. Luckily, the trees fell into the field. Had they fallen onto the road properties would have been damaged.
However, the storm left its trail of destruction in other parts of the city.
At the Ipoh Club car park, the storm blew several tiles off the roof which landed on the car of Committee Member, Leow Mei Fah. Another club member’s car was similarly damaged.
Further down Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, a tree in front of the State Mosque was uprooted. The fencing surrounding the Ipoh Railway Station garden, where upgrading works are underway, was brought down. Several sheets of the fence crashed on cars parked nearby. A billboard in front of the MBI Library was tilted and went out of alignment.
Former St Michael’s School Principal, Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery, who saw the carnage along with lawyer Yee Seu Kai, was relieved that the incident happened on a weekend otherwise properties and people would be affected.
Ipoh City Council’s Director of Landscape, Meor Abdullah Zaidi, said of the five trees remaining, one had to be removed immediately. His department is monitoring the conditions of the other four trees. “They may be removed if necessary,” he revealed.
The council, according to the director, plans to replace the trees with trees that flower and provide shade. “They’ll be planted inside Ipoh Padang next to the fence.”