Be aware of the dangers of flash floods

The writer, the president of the Singapore Life Saving Society, says that during a flash flood, it is important to get away from flooded areas and move to higher ground without delay until the water recedes.
The writer, the president of the Singapore Life Saving Society, says that during a flash flood, it is important to get away from flooded areas and move to higher ground without delay until the water recedes.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SUSAN POON

In the light of the recent wet weather, the public should be made aware of the dangers, including the risk of injuries and drowning, during flash floods ("Flash floods and jams as rain blankets S'pore"; Jan 24).

Flash-flood water moves extremely fast and is relentless. This often causes the water level to rise very quickly, and a victim caught in a flash flood can be swept away extremely swiftly.

Furthermore, flash-flood water may be contaminated. There might also be hazards in the built environment (such as drains) as well as floating hazards (such as floating furniture or other objects).

All these factors increase the dangers of flash floods.

It is also unlikely that a rescuer can arrive in time to save a victim of a flash flood from drowning.

Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to understand the importance of getting away from flooded areas and moving to higher ground without delay until the floodwater recedes.

Teachers and parents should also let the children know the dangers of floods .

Richard Tan Ming Kirk
President
Singapore Life Saving Society

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2017, with the headline 'Be aware of the dangers of flash floods'. Print Edition | Subscribe