Singapore issues flood warnings as heavy rain causes delays in several flights, major golf event

Singapore’s national water agency PUB issued its first flash flood warning of the day at about 6.55am, urging people to avoid the junction of Mountbatten Road and Tanjong Katong Road South in the eastern part of the country.

Similar warnings were issued throughout the morning and early afternoon, covering areas such Craig Road in the Tanjong Pagar area, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Jalan Seaview in the Marine Parade area, as well as a section of Jalan Boon Lay in the west.

“The heaviest rainfall of 107.2mm was recorded in western Singapore from 7.30am to 1.30pm,” PUB said in an update on Facebook at 6.35pm.

“This amount corresponds to 65 per cent of Singapore’s average monthly rainfall in May, and lies within the top 3 per cent of maximum daily rainfall records since 1978.”

Addressing videos circulating online showing a flooded condominium car park at Balmoral Crescent, PUB said this was not caused by the heavy rain.

Travellers sit as they wait to embark at Changi Airport. Heavy rain caused a delay in several flights at the airport on May 4, 2024. Photo: Reuters

“Based on preliminary investigations, a faulty valve in the basement’s sprinkler storage tank caused water to overflow and flooded the car park,” the agency said.

“This is an isolated incident not caused by rainfall. At the time of the incident, rainfall over the area was not heavy and the nearby drains were not flowing at full capacity.”

Despite the prolonged heavy rain across Singapore, there were no occurrences of flash floods, said PUB.

At Changi Airport, a passenger said that his flight from Singapore to New York City at Terminal 3 had first been changed to Terminal 1 before being delayed.

“This is due to inclement weather, heavy rainfall and lightning warning issued,” said an airport announcement. “We are not able to board the passengers due to safety concerns and the lightning warning issued.”

Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. Authorities have issued a flood warning for the area due to heavy rain on May 4, 2024. Photo: Reuters

A check on Changi Airport’s website showed delays to several flights. Two Singapore Airlines flights departing from Terminal 2 to Osaka and Tokyo were moved back by at least 30 minutes.

Changi Airport later issued an advisory, saying: “Due to inclement weather and lightning warnings, there are delays in baggage presentation as we prioritise the safety of our ground handlers.”

The airport added that affected passengers can approach on-ground staff for complimentary refreshments.

They can also exit and re-enter the baggage claim area once their luggage is ready for collection.

“For selected airlines, complimentary baggage delivery service is available for affected passengers,” the airport said.

02:42

Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong will hand over power to deputy Lawrence Wong on May 15

Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong will hand over power to deputy Lawrence Wong on May 15

It apologised for any inconvenience caused by the heavy rain, adding that public announcements are being made in the terminals to keep passengers informed of any updates.

“We advise passengers to stay updated by checking with their respective airlines and monitoring the Changi Airport flight status page or Changi app for the latest information,” it added.

The second round of the LIV Golf event in Sentosa was also affected, with a notice on the tournament website stating that playing times had been pushed back and would not start before 1.45pm. The golfers teed off at 2pm, more than four hours after the initial start time.

The tournament, featuring some of the world’s top golfers, including Major winners Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka, is scheduled to end on Sunday.

Heavy rain has delayed the start of the second round of the LIV Golf event in Sentosa. Photo: Reuters

Singapore’s Meteorological Service said earlier this week that moderate to heavy thundery showers are expected in the late morning and afternoon on most days in the first fortnight of May.

“In addition, Sumatra squalls may bring widespread thundery showers accompanied by gusty winds on a few mornings,” the Met Service said on May 2.

“The total rainfall for the first half of May 2024 is forecast to be above average over most parts of the island.”

PUB said that with climate change likely to cause extreme weather such as more intense storms, it encourages the public to keep updated on heavy rain and flood risk warnings, via the MyENV app or PUB’s X account and Flood Alerts telegram channel.
This story was first published by CNA

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