Call for better tree management

Fire and Rescue Department personnel clearing the area after strong winds and heavy rain toppled several trees at Jalan 16/9 in Petaling Jaya. — Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

THE spate of fallen trees after Saturday evening’s thunderstorm has sparked calls by Klang Valley folk for better maintenance of greenery in urban areas.

Several densely populated areas in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya, Selangor, were hit, according to social media posts.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said his office received many complaints from distressed residents.

“Please leave a comment on this post for areas that we might have missed so we can act swiftly,” he said in a Facebook post.

In a separate video post, he said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Fire and Rescue Department personnel worked to remove fallen trees.

Commenting on Rajiv’s post, Petaling Jaya resident Yee Wing-Tak said he had made several reports of risky trees to MBPJ in recent months.

“However, no action has been taken,” he said, expressing concerns that some tree branches were too close to utility lines.

Another resident, Daniel Tan, urged the local authorities to ensure tree roots were not cut to make way for construction of pedestrian walkways.

“They must be maintained and new trees also need to be planted to help manage flash floods,” he added.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lim Yi Wei asked homeowners whose access was blocked by trees to update their locations in her social media post.

A number of residents also reported experiencing a temporary power cut.

A fallen tree temporarily blocking access to Air Selangor’s office at Jalan Pantai Baru, Bangsar following Saturday’s thunderstorm.A fallen tree temporarily blocking access to Air Selangor’s office at Jalan Pantai Baru, Bangsar following Saturday’s thunderstorm.

Agnes Ngieng said her house near Jalan SS2/41, Petaling Jaya, suffered a power cut for 14 hours before Tenaga Nasional Bhd repairmen came to fix it.

“They couldn’t do anything until MBPJ workers cleared a big fallen tree that was blocking the road,” she said.

Selva Kumanan urged the authorities to cut down old trees with damaged roots.

“They might fall at any time, even when it is not raining.”

When contacted, Petaling Jaya mayor Mohamad Zahri Samingon said the city council had taken the necessary action and was in the midst of clearing fallen trees around the city.

Meanwhile, Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) has activated its disaster operation room and mobilised its emergency response team to areas with reported fallen trees for cleanup works.

It urged those needing help to call its hotline at 03-8024 7700 for natural disaster-related emergencies.

According to MBSJ, areas with fallen trees were Jalan BK1/10 Pangsapuri Melur, Jalan BK9/5J, Jalan SP1/1, Jalan BK 8D, Jalan Wawasan 2/20 and Jalan Kinrara 6, BK6.

In Kuala Lumpur, several areas such as Jalan Pinang and Jalan Pantai Baru also reported fallen trees, with some causing damage to parked cars.

The Fire and Rescue Department, in a statement, said it was working with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to remove trees that fell on roads and utility lines.

On X (formerly Twitter), Universiti Malaya students posted photos and videos showing trees that had collapsed on cars and motorcycles.

One video showed the roof of the 12th College student residential block being dislodged during the thunderstorm.

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