Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/16/2012 04:50 | By Channel NewsAsia

"Tornado" sighted at Pasir Panjang

"Tornado" sighted at Pasir Panjang


"Tornado" sighted at Pasir Panjang

SINGAPORE: A "tornado" at Pasir Panjang on Saturday left some residents startled.

The winds were so strong that it caused some of the zinc slats on the roof of Pasir Panjang ferry terminal to dislodge and fly off.

Employees at the terminal said no one was injured.

The "tornado" was in fact a waterspout, which is caused by intense thunderstorms, and is formed when columns of water are sucked to the base of the clouds.

Julie Beattie, whose home overlooks the ferry terminal, sent in video footage of the weather phenomenon to Channel NewsAsia.

"I felt the wind start to pick up and went to close the balcony doors, and then noticed this swirling motion of water, and I thought, what is this?" she said.

"I was glued to it, it started getting stronger... I thought this (was) a mini tornado."

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said an average of three occurrences of waterspouts over Singapore waters are reported every year.

NEA added that waterspouts tend to have a short life cycle of up to tens of minutes and they usually dissipate rapidly upon reaching the coast.

They also noted waterspouts are generally associated with intense thunderstorms over the sea.

However, it is difficult to forecast the occurrence of waterspouts because not all thunderstorms lead to the formation of waterspouts.

— CNA/xq

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