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Bishan, Braddell MRT stations among 35 flood-proofed in recent years

SINGAPORE — The unprecedented flooding in MRT tunnels along the North-South Line that halted services along a stretch of stations for some 20 hours over the weekend has thrown up questions of what had gone wrong, and whether a repeat could happen.

The unprecedented flooding in MRT tunnels along the North-South Line that halted services along a stretch of stations for some 20 hours over the weekend has thrown up questions of what had gone wrong, and whether a repeat could happen. Photo: SCDF

The unprecedented flooding in MRT tunnels along the North-South Line that halted services along a stretch of stations for some 20 hours over the weekend has thrown up questions of what had gone wrong, and whether a repeat could happen. Photo: SCDF

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SINGAPORE — The unprecedented flooding in MRT tunnels along the North-South Line that halted services along a stretch of stations for some 20 hours over the weekend has thrown up questions of what had gone wrong, and whether a repeat could happen.

Operator SMRT said on Saturday (Oct 7) evening that the flooding at neighbouring MRT stations Bishan and Braddell “occurred during torrential rain this afternoon”.

But the two stations were among 35 underground MRT stations across the network to have had flood protection measures installed since 2012.

The flood-protection measures put in place include the installation of barrier systems — similar to what is done in Hong Kong’s MTR stations — at several points in each station to keep flood waters below 1.5m out. Glass panels, vent shafts and other openings were also sealed to make them watertight, while escape staircases were raised.

Earlier this year, the Land Transport Authority said that “with the completion of these works (at the 35 stations), all current and future MRT projects, including those on Downtown Line and Thomson-East Coast Line, will meet the requirements for flood protection as specified in PUB’s Code of Practice for surface water drainage”.

In 2006, after an early morning downpour, the Novena MRT station had waterlogged floors and a dripping ceiling. The water, which flooded the floor by a height of 5cm, appeared to have come from a nearby construction site.

While train services were not affected at the time, staff from other stations arrived to shelter commuters with umbrellas and mop up the mess. To prevent the water from damaging the electrical systems, the escalators, fare gates and lift were switched off.

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