A tropical island surrounded by seas, Singapore receives abundant rainfall especially during the monsoon seasons. The average annual rainfall is about 2,400mm.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Singapore experienced wide-spread flooding during the monsoon seasons, especially in the city centre, which was built on relatively low-lying land. Today, Singapore is relieved of prolonged floods. Most times, our drains are able to cope with the rain that we receive. However, extremely heavy rainfall can sometimes exceed the capacity that the drains are designed for, especially in low-lying areas. That is when flash floods – small and localised floods that come and go relatively quickly – may occur.
Through concerted effort, careful land development planning and a comprehensive and continuous drainage improvement programme, flood prone areas have been greatly reduced from about 3,200 hectares in the 1970s to about 48 hectares today despite increased urbanization, which usually would have resulted in more floods.
Through an ongoing drainage improvement programme, PUB will further reduce flood prone areas to 40 hectares by 2013.
Flood prone areas in the 1970s
Flood prone areas now
PUB takes every flood incident seriously and will assess the cause of the flood. If necessary, PUB will work with other agencies to improve the drainage system or raise the road levels. PUB also engages building owners on appropriate flood protection measures to prevent a recurrence.
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