wangsa-maju

a Malaysian sub-urban community, a place, a village, (a metro? a kampong?) blog created for records, remembering events, and for posterity. (Photo: Shows the first blocks of condos built in Wangsa Maju in early 1980)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Storm








That was a quite a storm yesterday evening in the Ulu Kelang, Kuala Lumpur areas. Worse affected were Wangsa Maju and Taman Melawati. Not sure about other places. It started off at about 5.00pm and lasted until about 5.30 pm. It was a mini hurricane. The sky was grey all over, raining but not that heavy. It created havoc. Tree and branches fell like flies, road were blocked, power lines fell down or down by fallen tree s and branches, and those affected got electricity blacked out. Those returning from office got delayed and traffic jam was the order of the day. And some construction sites zinc walls were also affected. It was quite an experience for those living in those precints.

The point I observe is that most of the trees planted on the road sides are soft wood type, which grow to a maximum of about 100 feet. And they are not planted deeply as well. And the norm for the City Hall or the Local Council is too cut the lower branches of these trees and to let the tree grow tall. They must have reasons for doing that which I guess to ensure that there is shade on the road. But such tall trees have problems of their own. Their roots being shallow tend to dig into the road shallowly spoiling the road surface and when strong wind hit them the branches tend to break, they being soft wood, and fall on to the road. These branches may hit cars or pedestrian moving about. (in the rain or storm, traffic is normally heavy and slow and maybe pedestrians are also around). Or they get uprooted. They are therefore hazardous.

City Hall or Town Councils may need to look into their practice of what trees to be planted on the road edges and how to plant them. And at the same time they are to look into their practices of trimming tree branches. They may consider not to trim the lower branches/part of these trees but instead to trim the upper part of the tree branches leaving stumps of only about 5 meters high. At that height, the branches still do give shade on the road. In some countries they do only stumps of certain height for safety reasons (I suppose).

I must comment however that City Hall and the Town Council concerned were quick to come to clear up all the debris on the affected roads in order to get the traffic to flow smoothly again.


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