Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has carried out inspection and maintenance work on 15,734 trees so far this year.
The trees are located along Jalan Perak, Jalan York, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Van Praagh, Jalan Slim, Lintang Slim, Jalan Pangkor, Jalan Larut, Jalan Sungai Pinang, Jalan Burma, Jalan Kampung Jawa Baru, Jalan Timah, Tingkat Oriental 1, Jalan DS Ramanathan and Lebuhraya Rose.
In a statement, the council’s Landscaping Department said it also managed trees that posed a safety hazard to the public, with maintenance work being carried out on more than 40,000 shade trees annually.
“In 2019, the council was asked to take over the maintenance of trees throughout the island, including trees outside the city limits, from the Public Works Department.
“Although there is a need to cover a wider area with existing resources such as manpower and allocation, the council is still committed in carrying out maintenance work on trees, especially those by the roads and in public spaces.
“The council has two in-house arborists who review the action that needs to be taken on the more than 40,000 trees under the council’s supervision,” it said.
The statement also read that the transitional phase of the monsoon which began in March and would last until this month would result in wind gusts and thunderstorms.
It also said that according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the southwest monsoon lasting from May 19 to mid-September would bring heavy rain, strong winds and lightning to the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, especially in the early morning.
According to a study by the National Severe Storms Laboratory in the United States, a wind speeds of more than 30km per hour can result in swaying of small trees.
“The whole tree will shake vigorously if the wind speed reaches 50km per hour.
“According to the records of the MBPP weather station in George Town, the maximum wind gust in April was about 58km per hour and for May, the highest was 41.8km per hour.
“This situation has indeed contributed to trees being toppled.
“The council has been working hard to ensure the risk can be reduced,” said the statement.
The council expressed its regret on recent incidents of fallen trees, including a tree that fell in front
of an apartment block in Solok Lenggong, as a result of internal decay due to termites.
“Heavy rains and strong winds also contributed to the incident.
“Although proactive action has been taken to inspect trees, the weather in recent times has been quite challenging.
“The council advises the public to be careful, especially during heavy rains and thunderstorms.
“The council also welcomes the public informing them on dangerous trees so that immediate action can be taken,” it said.
The public can call the council’s hotline at 04-263 7637 and 04-263 7000 or via WhatsApp at 016-200 4082.