Saturday 5 November 2011

Flood management with CCTVs

PUB to install 55 CCTVs in flood-prone areas
Channel NewsAsia, 3 Nov 2011

National water agency PUB is installing 55 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at flood-prone areas in Singapore, mostly in the central, eastern and western parts of the island. 

The installation is expected to be completed by early December this year. 

PUB said the installation of more CCTVs follows the success of its trial project along Bukit Timah Road, where six cameras were installed. 

The PUB said having these CCTVs help it to respond more quickly during intense storms or flash floods.

Tan Nguan Sen, Director (Catchment & Waterways) at PUB, elaborated: "We have to look at the critical locations like major canals....old low-lying areas. So we choose (where to install the CCTVs) based on these two main criteria." 

As for other areas, the PUB is working with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to use its traffic cameras to monitor real-time conditions in the event of floods.

The installation of CCTVs is part of the PUB's initiatives to step up flood management efforts in preparation for the Northeast Monsoon.

According to the National Environment Agency's (NEA) Meteorological Service, Singapore can expect more rainy days ahead during the coming Northeast Monsoon season between mid-November this year and end of January next year. 

For Singapore, on average there are 19 rain days each in November and December, and 15 rain days in January. 

However, the prevailing weak La Nina in the Pacific Ocean could contribute to a wetter than usual Northeast Monsoon season this year. 

To enhance monitoring efforts, the PUB is expanding the network of sensors to track water levels at various drains and canals. 

More water level sensors are being installed and this will bring the total number of sensors from the current 93 to 150 by the end of the year. 

The PUB has also stepped up its drainage maintenance regime to keep the drains flowing and minimise the risks of flash floods. 

This includes increasing the frequency of inspection and cleaning, especially in the flood-prone areas and areas where there is high pedestrian traffic and litter, and roads densely planted with trees with heavy leaf falls. 

The PUB has also gone door-to-door to distribute flood advisories to 371 units in low-lying, flood-prone areas, such as those in Mountbatten Road and Kampong Buangkok. 

Massive floods unlikely here, says minister
The Straits Times, 2 Nov 2011

MASSIVE floods of the kind hitting Thailand are unlikely to happen here, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has said.

In an interview with wire agency Reuters, published yesterday, he said Singapore has made moves, such as raising the height of reclaimed land by a metre above sea level and deepening drains and canals, to protect itself against floods likely caused by worsening climate change.

It has also encouraged building owners to improve their flood defences.

'It'll be more expensive, (and involve) more upfront cost, but you are buying insurance for the future,' he said.

He added: 'You're not going to get areas, like in Thailand, that are seriously inundated for weeks or months. That is extremely unlikely in Singapore.'

Singapore has been experiencing heavy rain recently, with flash floods occurring in various parts of the island, sometimes causing damage running into millions of dollars.

Among the steps taken by the Government is the setting up of a panel of local and international experts to look into the issue.

Dr Balakrishnan acknowledged that the Government needed to improve the city state's defences against flash floods, and added that technological advances in wireless communications and the use of sensors would shorten response time when these occur.

He noted that Singapore has developed large projects in the last two decades to divert water from low-lying areas to reduce the risk of a major flood.

One is the Marina Barrage at the mouth of the Singapore River, which enables the water level in Marina Bay to be controlled.

He told Reuters: 'There are still people who do not believe in climate change. But I think the increasing weight of evidence suggests that something is going on and the only rational thing is to review all assumptions and norms.'

Sourcing flood news: PUB replies
WE THANK Mr Thomas Lee for his letter ('Floods'; last Saturday). Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras of PUB, the national water agency, will focus on the flood-prone areas and their vicinity, which include outlet drains and low-lying spots where flash floods may occur during intense storms.

Real-time monitoring of the flood-prone areas will enable PUB to respond expeditiously to changing site conditions and post some of these pictures on its website.

The CCTVs are not meant to capture the traffic situation on the roads.

For details on road traffic, the public can access the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) real-time Expressway Monitoring Advisory System (Emas) camera images at LTA's One.Motoring website.

Electronic signboards along the expressways and adjacent major roads display messages on the traffic situation ahead. Traffic information is also broadcast over the radio through the LTA's traffic news programme.
Tan Nguan Sen
Director, Catchment & Waterways Department
PUB, the national water agency
Helen Lim (Ms)
Acting Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority
ST Forum, 17 Nov 2011

'Install more cameras at major roads. Pictures should be made accessible via the Internet.'
MR THOMAS LEE: 'PUB, the national water agency, is reportedly in the process of installing more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in flood-prone areas to monitor the flood situation ('PUB gears up for more rain, possible flash floods'; Nov 4). The PUB should install more cameras at major roads. Pictures of these roads should be accessible to the public via the Internet. Just by keying in the name of the road they plan to travel to, motorists should be able to assess the situation and decide accordingly. This will not only save time for motorists, but also help avoid traffic congestion caused by stalled vehicles.'
ST Forum, 12 Nov 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment