First MRT stations equipped with flood barriers

First MRT stations equipped with flood barriers
Workers showing how the barriers at Tanjong Pagar MRT station take two people up to 15 minutes to install.

SINGAPORE - With storms likely to occur more often in future, the authorities have started equipping MRT stations with flood barriers.

The first six have been retrofitted at a cost of $2.2 million, with barriers similar to those used in Hong Kong's MTR stations. Design works for another 11 stations are ongoing, said a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesman.

The first batch of stations - Tanjong Pagar, Orchard, Raffles Place, City Hall, Novena and Little India - were selected as they are more vulnerable to flooding, said SMRT director for media and marketing communications Alina Boey.

In its Code of Practice on surface water drainage, national water agency PUB states that the underground rapid transit system must be "stringently protected against flood risks".

Aside from minimising the storm catchments of underground MRT stations, it said integrated watertight barriers at least 1m above flood and ground levels should be used to protect underground stations and tunnels.

MRT stations already have elevated entrances to guard against flooding, but the barriers add another layer of protection.

While no MRT station has ever been flooded, Singapore has been seeing more flash floods over the past few years, caused by heavy, intense bouts of rainfall.

The National Environment Agency said last month that very heavy storms in Singapore are likely to become more frequent and intense if global temperatures rise.

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