Singapore’s Catastrophic 1954 Floods

A aggregate of torrential and prolonged rains, excessive tides, and insufficient flood manage induced a number of the worst flooding recognized in Singapore in the first two weeks of December 1954. Early Nineteen Fifties Singapore was a British Crown Colony and part of the Federation of Malaya. It became a especially annoying time politically, with the upward push of nationalist actions and an ongoing nation of “emergency” declared by way of the British government in reaction to a perceived communist risk supported by means of a few contributors of the chinese language network. The 1954 floods have been a disaster that piled greater pressure onto an already confused community. greater than 10,000 human beings were affected; five,000 were temporarily or completely displaced. five people died on the night time of the 17 December when their rescue boat capsized—the first victims of the catastrophe. The worst affected regions have been also some of the poorest: kampong (rural village) groups at the north and japanese fringes of the town, inclusive of Potong Pasir, Braddell avenue, Lorong Tai Seng, Geylang Serai, and Bedok. instantaneous disaster response, medium-time period rehabilitation, and lengthy-term enhancements to flood mitigation works amounted to hundreds of thousands of Straits bucks.

comfort operations were run on a large scale and worried the authorities, the Social Welfare branch (SWD), the Royal Malayan army and military, Royal Air force, Salvation navy, St. John’s Ambulance, the police, and community volunteers. schools, church buildings, and network halls were set up as emergency shelters. unique flood remedy finances were installed with the aid of the authorities, chinese associations, the chinese Chamber of trade, and newspapers. The Straits times fund by myself had raised 278,000 Straits greenbacks by the cease of the month. -hundred and fifty lots of rice have been given through the Thai and Burmese governments. money, garments, tinned milk, rice, poultry, and fertilisers have been also donated.

garments given out at a relief middle, Potong Pasir

At a brief remedy center set up at St. Andrew’s faculty Lee Teck Ping, a junior instructor, instructed how the preceding week that they had four hundred humans residing in their faculty hall from villages off Potong Pasir. they’d despatched people out to acquire them in boats and the St. John’s Ambulance sorted the unwell however many were living in flooded conditions for some time. staff and college students have been lauded as heroes by means of the neighborhood press.

Flood victims having a meal at St. Andrew’s faculty

in spite of extensive efforts at coordinated alleviation work, but, there has been a perception that the government and council were now not doing enough to assist, according to articles from The Straits times. One inhabitant of Geylang Serai informed his story. forced to escape rising floodwaters, he had spent one night time at a brief safe haven supplied with the aid of the SWD wherein he registered to obtain useful resource. unable to live longer and along with his residence knee-deep in water, he had no choice but to spend the next few nights together with his son, a police officer, in the barracks. while he tried to obtain his useful resource entitlement he changed into turned away: two times. To rub salt into the wound, the two days spent trying to declare resource meant days’ misplaced work.

For the inhabitants of Bedok, this flood was their 1/3 that 12 months. The hassle turned into so bad that the community had instituted their personal help mechanism: the Bedok Village Flood remedy Committee. The population argued that a loss of governmental foresight and planning had exacerbated their network’s misfortune.

Floods at Bedok

Bedok became a resettlement mission, where population, specifically farmers, had been forcibly moved to clear land wished for a central authority backed airfield at Paya Lebah. The Committee became the villagers’ mouthpiece. Writing to the Colonial Secretary on 19 January 1955, they explained that

the flood turned into a blow which fell just as we have been starting to get over the October flood…we had protested towards the unsuitability of Bedok and had talked about that the vicinity might flood effortlessly…lots of us are now in debt.

The publish-flood political fallout reflected the mood of the humans. no matter funding in predominant flood mitigation schemes instigated by the authorities and enacted over the path of 1955-56, the enjoy contributed to a developing anti-colonial narrative. although unrelated, 1954 additionally witnessed the formation of the people’s motion birthday celebration (PAP); riots over national carrier, and strikes by way of day employees in opposition to the town council. even as it might be too sturdy to nation that the flood without delay impacted politics, it’s far interesting to note that political opposition candidates who had been energetic within the post-1954 cleanup were elected within the spring 1955 trendy election. grievance of the government’s dealing with of the December floods and negative water management might not have been the reason, but they brought gasoline to the hearth. Malaya won independence in 1957.

This history as always be in the minds of every citizens of Singapore despite happening so many years ago I would advice you always come to this platform for more and always refer back to this web site for more updates on disasters and other technology devices.

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