[Updated 18 December 2013, 8.48pm: Added response from Meterological Services Singapore]
The Meterological Services Singapore (MSS) confirmed that the "tornado"-like phenomenon seen on Wednesday afternoon around Woodlands was a waterspout.
"A waterspout is a weather phenomenon usually observed under cumuliform clouds during intense weather conditions associated with thunderstorms," said on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website. NEA did not receive any calls regarding the sighting.
The last waterspout was seen not long ago - on 12 December 2013 - over the sea areas of Tuas, said MSS.
The extraordinary sighting had caused a lot of excitement on Twitter, by users who had spotted it from various locations such as Marsiling, Kranji and Woodlands.
Twitter user @alwaysblur saw the "tornado" from Republic Polytechnic, which is located in Woodlands. The user posted a photo of it at 4:39pm. Another user @thewan4you later posted another photo of it — the phenomenon seemed bigger by then — at 5:22pm.
The waterspout could also be seen by people from Marsiling. According to Twitter user @Hufayiqq who had reposted a photo sent by his uncle, it was “spotted near Marsiling”.
Based on a report by Stomp Singapore, one person claimed that he had spotted the waterspout near Kranji, while another said that it was seen near Woodlands Waterfront.
Here are a few videos of other waterspouts seen from around the world. Enjoy!