Last year, heavy rain in June caused heavy floods along Orchard Road. The flooding caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and several measures were put in place to prevent a repeat of the floods.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Yesterday morning, heavy rain caused flash floods again along Orchard Road. Only this time, the rainfall was more intense than last year. According to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), 65mm of rainfall was recorded within 30mins. That is compared to 100mm within two hours on June 16, 2010. The report from the PUB prompted the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan, to admit that Singapore’s weather has changed.
This is big news as this is the first time a government minister from Singapore had openly admitted that climate change is affecting Singapore in a big way. The first thing you have to do to solve a problem is to admit you have a problem. By admitting that Singapore’s weather has changed, I think the Singapore government is on the right track to tackle the flooding problem. I do agree that there’s limit to human engineering but Orchard Road is the prime shopping belt in our country so preventing the area from flooding is a must for the good of the economy.
I must also say I find the response to yesterday’s flooding to be much better than the response last year when Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says that it would be unrealistic for Singapore to be flood free. The PM even asked Singaporeans to “manage their expectations” as it would be too costly to build the facilities needed to prevent the floods. I’m no fan of Mr. Vivian (I did not overspend on the YOG) Balakrishnan, but he did the right thing yesterday. Here’s hoping the PUB can find a way to prevent the floods same time next year.