Thursday, September 05, 2013
Singapore Thrid World Weather Warning System
I have written about this topic before but I guess I need to write about it again because I hate to see our children and young students being put through unnecessary danger by the incompetency of PAP's governance.
I am now spending most of my time in Hong Kong and apparently Hong Kong has a more "HUMANE" weather warning system that is targeted to serve its residents, not merely for its commercial interests only.
Most Singaporeans are ignorant of what modern weather forecast and warning system can do for them. Most don't even know how it works to serve them, prevent losses and even save lives. Some even protest that we cannot expect the government to "predict weather". This is understandable because they are ignorant of what modern weather monitoring system can do and Singapore government has not made available critical weather information free to all but except via commercialized payment for such information.
Who can blame Singaporeans for such ignorance when even our former PAP minister George Yeo didn't know how to react when he was facing his first Typhoon Number 8 warning in Hong Kong? It is not true that Hong Kong have more frequent adverse weather than Singapore apart from the seasonal typhoons. Sometimes, I feel that Singapore has more worse thunder storms than Hong Kong but Hong Kong has a proper colour coded weather warning system even though it has less incident of thunder storms than Singapore.
In Hong Kong, different colour coded warning means different actions required for different sectors. Most of the time, thunder storm warning applies more to certain sectors like swimming pools, construction sites and most importantly, to kindergartens and schools operations. If it is Red storm warning, kindergartens will be closed and kids are not expected to go to school. If it is Black storm warning, most schools will be closed. It would also possibly means that flooding will occur.
Now, can you imagine kids and young teenagers to go to school under the situation shown below? It is actually pretty dangerous for youngsters to be caught in such situation.
Before some ignorant people start to accuse me for nitpicking PAP government, let me put it straight, with the huge amount of money we have spent in setting up our weather monitoring system catered to our airport which is one of the most busiest airport in the world, we are definitely adequately equipped to provide such weather warning system for public service. If Hong Kong can do it, I don't think we are any inferior to them.
Hong Kong could even predict typhoon path one week in advanced and put up necessary weather warnings in advanced but we do not require that in Singapore. What we need is just a few hours advanced warning to Singaporeans and schools to make the necessary preparations.
We in fact have such advanced warning system in place but it is a paid service. For those in the army, you would know that you can call in for weather advanced forecast. They use Cat system. Even when there is no storm, you could well get a Cat 5 for presence of thunder.
Why would we risk the lives of our students to get to school but in the end, finding their schools or lecture halls being flooded like the ones in NUS? Or like those students ended up like this at their school?
It may affect some of our economic activities and lower our economic growth a little, but the safety of our citizens' lives is more than growth digits.
Goh Meng Seng