Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Penang: Waterspout stuns Penang folk

The waterspout that appeared off the Gurney Drive seafront. It was visible for 20 minutes.
The waterspout that appeared off the Gurney Drive seafront. It was visible for 20 minutes.
GEORGE TOWN: A waterspout which suddenly appeared off the popular Gurney Drive seafront here left thousands of people in shock and awe on Monday evening.

The natural phenomenon, which occurred amid strong winds and heavy rain, was a sight to behold.

Members of the public and motorists stopped their vehicles along the promenade to admire the violent spiralling column of air moving on the sea.

Its video footage and picture have been widely circulated on various websites, including YouTube and Facebook.

The stunning sight lasted about 20 minutes before easing.

However, the incident was not the first time waterspouts have occurred in Penang.

It has happened twice previously, in June this year and July 2007.

A Meteorological Department spokesperson said waterspouts had happened in several parts of the northern states.

Meanwhile, the ensuing storm wreaked havoc in various parts of the city centre, causing flash floods in several low-lying areas.

Strong winds also uprooted a huge tree which toppled and damaged two stalls next to the popular "Song River" outlet at the Gurney Drive seafront.

Fortunately, the fallen tree did not hit anyone.

Grilled chicken wings' seller Goh Ah Chye, 50, counted his blessings when the tree missed him by a whisker.

Relating the close shave, Goh said he was about to usher his customers into his shop to avoid the rain when the incident happened about 7.30pm.

"I heard a loud thud behind me and saw the uprooted tree crash onto the stalls.

"There is no way I can cook now as all my utensils were destroyed," Goh added.

Several Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) workers later removed the fallen tree trunk and branches.

Elsewhere, a boulder also rolled down a slope above a windy road along Jalan Tun Sardon near Balik Pulau.

A tree also uprooted and fell onto one side of the road, reducing the traffic flow to a crawl.

An excavator arrived at the site to assist MPPP workers to remove the massive rock and the tree.

The rising waters from Sungai Pinang also caused Jalan P. Ramlee and its vicinity to be inundated in knee-deep waters.

Several narrow streets within the inner city centre were also flooded but the water level subsided within hours.

*Taken from NST Online

*To know what is waterspout, click here.

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