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Record Rainfalls this December

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Well it seems that the rainfall this December has been exceptionally heavy this year. Maybe I've been too busy to notice, but it didn't seem any worse to me than 2001 when Typhoon Vamei hit Singapore ...


The Straits Times Forum

Dec 28, 2006

Flood-prone areas cut from 3,200ha to 130ha

PUB, the national water agency, thanks Mr Thomas Lee Zhi Zhi for his letter, 'Civil Service should be more proactive' (ST, Dec 27).

On Dec 19, Singapore was hit by the third-highest rainfall recorded since 1931. The 24-hour rainfall recorded was 366mm. This exceeds the average amount of 284 mm recorded for the month of December in previous years.

The highest rainfall recorded in one day was 512 mm in 1978, while the second-highest rainfall recorded was 467mm in 1969. The floods took several days to subside and thousands of people were affected.

Since then, the drainage system in Singapore has been improved and the flood-prone areas were effectively reduced from 3,200ha to 130ha. New projects, such as the Marina Barrage, are some of the proactive steps that we have been taking to further decrease the flood-prone areas.

Although heavy rainfall was expected this period, the rainfall on Dec 19 was exceptionally high. Only two locations, Olive/Joan Road and Upper Thomson/Mandai Road, had prolonged flooding for about a day as they are both low-lying areas. The junction of Olive Road and Joan Road lies in the Caldecott Valley, which is between 1.5m and 3m below the level of the main road.

While these low-lying areas flood occasionally, this is the first time that the waters overflowed onto the roads and affected traffic on Upper Thomson Road and the junction of Olive Road and Joan Road.

The Thomson nurseries are slated for redevelopment in the long term, which will include raising the ground level and building bigger drains. Meanwhile, PUB will continue to monitor the area and take action to help alleviate flooding.

PUB works closely with other agencies - the National Environment Agency on weather and Traffic Police on road conditions. The public is welcome to give feedback to our 24-hour call centre, PUB-One, on 1800-284 6600.

Yap Kheng Guan

Director, Drainage


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