The recent flood in MRT tunnel that affected thousands of commuters should not have happened if the authorities had followed strictly to the national water agency PUB’s code of practice, and planned ahead in term of risk assessment, flood prevention and operating procedures.
Thankfully, the breakdown happened on a weekend. It could have been worse had it occured on a weekday during peak hours.
Questions were raised after the incident: Why were the pumps that pulled water away not working efficiently? Are there enough pumps to do the work?
Could it be that the capacity of the drainage system is too small and this is something the PUB must rectify?
Are there any flood barriers? When storms hit right around high tide, it may put further pressure on the infrastructure.
We should review the pump design and drainage system of all train tunnels, be they old, new, or being built.
The danger is that when a tunnel is flooded and power is not deactivated promptly, the electric voltage running through may cause more mayhem. The chain reaction that follows could be hazardous.
Clearly, the relevant agencies in charge need to work together to prevent another such incident from happening again.