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21 Nov 20, 44 tweets, 13 min read
1/ Heavy rains & flash floods - a thread on SG and the climate crisis Image
2/ there was a heavy rain warning today & I don’t think there are any flash floods today (tbh idk how to read @PUBsingapore ‘s flood risk tweet). But I wanted to talk bout flash floods today.
3/ heres a recap of flash floods this year: a June, Nov highlight reel. ImageImageImageImage
4/ a bit of a history lessons, according to Wiki we’ve had about 40 - and counting - days of flash floods since 2010. (missing 2014 numbers though, why?) Image
5/ While we don’t face hurricanes and typhoons, a lot of our flash floods are influenced by the heavy rains brought by some of these disasters nearby. These disasters are getting worse cos climate change. The destruction that these disasters bring is immense, and it’s hurts us 2.
6/ We joke about the “once in 50 years flood” comment by then-Minister Yaacob Ibrahim. But more needs to be said about this...badly-worded/reported/explained statement.
7/ “But that is not to say that we have just been incredibly unlucky with our flooding. It may very well be that climate change has rendered the initial estimate irrelevant.“ - asiaone.com/singapore/idea…
8/ PUB said that water levels in drains and canals of the following areas have reached 90 per cent of capacity. Unusually high rainfall gon b our new normal thO channelnewsasia.com/news/commentar…
9/ let’s not jump too quick to the conclusion that this is due to poor urban planning. Our drainage systems have been pretty top-notch. But it’s threshold to cope is being tested as rains get more frequent and more intense. Image
10/ But let’s not discount the impact of climate change though. These floods are no surprise. The rains are only going to get worse and more unpredictable and erratic with climate change. We know this.
11/ Oh but that’s not to say we have done enough planning. In fact it’s not just drainage planning we need, there’s an imperative for a more ambitious green masterplan now?
12/ it means we need to start planning every aspect of our country to cope with its impact (adaptation), and stop it from getting worse (mitigation) + consider its intersectionalities its impact on HDB dwellers, lived realities, communities affected - and not just the engineering
13/ Ok la, tbh the weather quite shiok but doesn’t this all scare you?? That weathers are going all wonky and also let’s not forget - people have and will be hurt by these changes.
14/ The impacts on agriculture that we depend on (overseas) and their communities are clear. but if we look at Singapore specifically, we are not spared.
15/ Most obvious (or most-reported), there are fiscal costs to businesses. See June 2010 Orchard Road flooding.
16/ residents r affected 2. Low-lying areas. Paya Lebar residents received “Dam Easy” in Nov to cope. Idk how much we need to be spending to keep plugging these “gaps” as they surface. mothership.sg/2020/11/dam-ea…
17/ If we think about the day-to-day, slippery floors are not great for demographics that are more injury-prone and vulnerable. Not to mention...dengue risks.
18/ MP Joan Pereira actually asked a question about rain and HDB doors. I don’t say this often, but this one deserves attention. mnd.gov.sg/newsroom/parli…
19/ lets not forget this National Day Rally graphic of #sealevelrise - how leh. Image
20/ the rain is only gonna be more frequent and more intense. Does Singapore need more sheltered walkways? Can. But really, more #ClimateAction PLEASE. MUST SAY HOW MANY TIMES!!
21/ (Tbh would rather have trees cos the shelter doesn’t account for the rain backsplash and wind, my god.)
22/ In case you’re wondering, here’s the list of flood prone areas as of May 2020. Just in case you need to plan your day (wear slippers, shorts and be safe) : pub.gov.sg/Documents/List… or follow @PUBsingapore for flood numbers.
23/ ok this is a messy quick take but the rain got me in a mood to talk about the climate.
24/ continuing this thread given the latest IPCC report and also the very rainy morning (gonna start documenting instances of flash floods now) - extreme rainfall gonna be more common but then how?
25/ ok i tried to use the Atlas but I'm bad with stats (so if any analysts wanna contribute to the thread pls do). but from the summary report, "One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C warming".
26/ So in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), it highlights with greater certainty that heavy precipitation and associated flooding. ASIA HIGH CONFIDENCE LEH!!! HIGH CONFIDENCE!!! Image
27/ The report can be found here - ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1… takes a bit to digest it all but lemme continue to talk about rain
28/ Reported by @audreytrp "If planet-warming emissions do not come down to net-zero by around 2050, more punishing heatwaves, severe coastal flooding events, and bouts of heavier rain could be on the cards for this island." (#netzeroby2050 is still so important) - r we rdy tho
29/ On a slightly frivolous note, I want to say that our current "norm" for office wear is so not friendly to the rain, nor to hot humid weather. Xiang Tian discusses this here. And when we talk about adapting, this gotta shift too channelnewsasia.com/commentary/sho…
30/ What I haven't discussed us in this thread is also how erratic weather also hurts our health. I've asked this on IG stories, and I know i'm not the only one whose sinuses get worse with weird hot/cold weather - beyond this, what about those with chronic pain?
31/ I can't speak for those who experience chronic pain, but there are studies that show cold weather on pain such as arthritis or any other inflammatory illnesses :/ with an ageing population, there are demographics disproportionately affected by this :/
32/ wow so many typos but u get the hint. i am also doing a podcast with the medical folks at Third Spacing and something that also comes up is heat vulnerability and elderly is defo one demographic. i can't imagine the cold/hot weather deeply affecting our liveability as we age
33/ other thing is about MOBILITY during such heavy rain. As someone who used crutches for a period of time, the no. of times I've fallen on dry slippery floors...wow can I just say how unsafe it was?? what about ppl with mobility issues? r our HDB corridors safe/slip-proof?
34/ and also, I was once at Changi General Hosp for an appt and it was pouring like crazy + i had issues with sight due to medication and trying to get into a cab was definitely not a dry affair. the shelter was very high so with wind, i defo got very wet.
35/ these incidences defo makes me wonder what liveability in the anthropocene means to us. we need urgent mitigation AND adaptation, and adaptation makes us also confront climate's intersections w inequality
36/ from a transnational POV, adaptation is also very political given that #climaterefugees are gonna really be something to contend with. ok even with this rain, we gotta look at this impacts in Malaysia straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/f…
37/ #throwback to when fish & veg prices went up due to heavy rains in Malaysia. This also happened in 2017 (from my searches) btw. hence we cannot ignore supply chain climate risks too (hallo #scope3 emissions) straitstimes.com/singapore/cons…
38/ also wow i defo have not seen this extent of "rescue" since the Orchard Road floods (maybe not in my lifetime idk) but BIG YIKES ON EVACUATION :( :( straitstimes.com/singapore/envi…
39/ I also rmbr this tweet going around about wetlands. but same can be said about how trees and natural environments protect us from flash floods through natural processes.

40/ i must say i'm extremely thankful for the trees on my path home from the MRT where like the entire stretch is not sheltered so the impact of trees even just to shield the rain (INTERCEPTION, I RMBR FROM JC GEOG) helps a wHOLE lot.
41/ not forgetting the impact of rain on certain livelihoods, especially our delivery drivers who might not have sheltered transport. #til that there are rain shelters for motorcycle riders! i hope that ppl can be considerate of dangerous driving conditions in the rain :(
41/ I think I end off this *thread update* here, but given that now the science is clearer than ever, I really am wondering about this: how do we ALL manage our lives with extreme weather?
42/ sharing also this piece by @konti_sg kontinentalist.com/stories/climat… (h/t @hellopeiying ) which reminds me that FLOODS aren't ALL BAD. It is important for certain crops, and also season relief to people! but it's INTENSIFYING.
43/ also spotlighting this explainer by @lifeswhatyousay for diving deep into the Atlas!!

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More from @theweirdnwild

20 Aug
1/ Documenting flash floods starting from 2021 - an evolving thread
2/ Starting the year wet as heck w flash floods in at least 5 locations [1 Jan 2021] straitstimes.com/singapore/heav…
3/ oh my again in March, esp badly hit in the West where even the Bus Service 252 was being diverted from Enterprise Road, skipping 9 bus stops?!?! [23 Mar 2021]

btw to clarify, the thread is about flash floods *in Singapore straitstimes.com/singapore/flas…
Read 11 tweets

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