500+ Words Essay on Flood
Flood is one of the most reoccurring and dangerous natural disasters. It happens as a result of persistent rainfalls or due to the accumulation of excess water in an area. Flood water submerges the dry land and has a destructive effect on the surrounding environment.
India has witnessed some of the deadliest floods. Loss of lives and properties are a few of the drastic effects of the flood. Recovering from the large-scale damages done by floods can take a lot of time. We cannot prevent these, but we can somewhat minimize the destruction in the future. To do that, we need to understand the different causes, types, and consequences of the flood.
What Causes a Flood?
Various natural and unnatural events lead to flooding conditions. The natural causes include heavy rainfall, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Climate change is responsible for triggering torrential rains. More than average levels of rain can cause floods. The water levels in the rivers and oceans rise due to heavy rain.
In some areas, water from the sewers starts flowing on the streets. When there is an overflow of water from the reservoirs, the nearby areas get affected by the flood. Often dams, which control the reservoir water, break open. This can submerge the low lying areas. There have been cases where earthquakes have caused tsunamis. This can lead to flooding in the coastal zones.
Global warming is one of the unnatural causes of floods. It increases the Earth’s overall temperature, which results in drastic climatic changes. Top ice covers of the mountains melt, and glacier sheets collapse. This further increases the seawater content and leads to floods.
Deforestation is another human activity that leads to an increase in the average rainfall, thus leading to flooding. Moreover, due to too much congestion, densely populated cities lack proper water drainage systems. This means clogged drains and more flooding.
Different Types of Floods
There are several kinds of floods. Before you step ahead and make plans for its control, you need to have a better understanding of its types. This is because each of them has its own sets of cause, damage, and preventive measures. Floods can be classified into three different types-surge floods, fluvial floods, and pluvial floods.
Fluvial floods are also known as river floods. They happen when water overflows from rivers, lakes, and streams to the nearby shores and land regions. Increased snowing, ice melting, and heavy rainfalls can lead to fluvial floods. The damage from fluvial floods can be far-reaching as it can cause dams and dikes to break and submerge the nearby areas.
Every year, parts of Delhi face river floods either from the overflowing water from the Yamuna or the excess water from the Hathnikund dam. The severity of fluvial floods can be measured by the intensity and duration of rainfall in a river’s catchment area.
Soil water saturation and terrain conditions can be determined by the past precipitation data. Current river levels also help to predict the probability of these floods. In flat areas, the floodwater rises slowly and can stay for a longer period. However, in hilly areas, floods occur very rapidly after the rainfall. They also drain very quickly.
Surge floods are also known as coastal floods. Floods that arise in the coastal areas because of storm surges and tidal changes are called surge floods. High winds from a windstorm, tsunami, or hurricane create surges and force water to the low-lying shores. During high tides, surge floods are at their most devastating state.
The extent of the severity of surge floods can be measured by their speed, size, strength, and direction of the windstorm. Topography can also help predict the probability and magnitude of coastal floods. Moreover, previous storm data of the affected area also provides valuable information about it. Coastal areas of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra face surge floods every year.
Pluvial floods are also the outcome of heavy rainfall. However, they are independent of the overflowing water bodies and can even happen in areas far from the water bodies. Pluvial floods are of two types- surface water floods and flash floods.
Surface water floods include the overflow of water from the urban drainage systems onto the streets. Water fills up at a slow pace and it mostly shallow (hardly beyond 1 meter in depth). People can relocate to safe places as there are no immediate life threats. However, the area that is affected suffers economically.
On the contrary, flash floods occur due to heavy torrential rains on a close-by hilly terrain. The sudden release of water from dams can also cause flash flooding. These are dangerous because the water not only has greater velocity, but it also carries debris as it flows. Indian states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir are prone to annual flash floods.
Deadliest Floods in India
Many Indian states are prone to flooding on an annual basis. In 1979, Gujarat witnessed one of the deadliest floods of all time. The collapse of Machhu Dam-II led to the overflow of Machhu River into the Morbi town. Around 1335 people died during this flood.
In 1987, Bihar’s Kosi River flooded after being struck by an avalanche. The government declared that 1399 people and 5302 animals had died during this incident.
Recent flooding incidents happened in June 2013 in the northern territory of Uttarakhand. Amidst thousands of Hindu pilgrims set on their journey to sanctuaries, the heavy downpour of rain continued for a few days. The rainstorm that followed affected 1 million lives residing in Uttarakhand and Himachal areas. The death toll was around 4094. Kedarnath was the worst affected zones.
With the help of the military, 100,000 people were evacuated from the rocky terrains. Kerala witnessed a devastating flood in recent times. This massive flooding happened due to the lack of proper drainage systems.
Consequences of Flood
Floods are undoubtedly destructive, and they disrupt our lives. Mass destruction of lives, infrastructure, properties, and vegetation is a common sight after the floods. Most of the survivors get injured. They lose their home and cars for which they worked so hard in their lives.
Animals die, and the submerged area loses its quality of the soil. Displaced trees and electrocuted poles can be found everywhere. Elongated power cuts to avoid electrocution eventually become expensive.
Food supply and common goods are hard to find. Things become chaotic. And this does not stop here. The after-effects of floods include the spreading of water-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, etc. All these things collectively affect a nation’s economy. Rescue operations and measures to control this natural disaster demand a lot of money.
A huge loss of the economy affects the lives of the people who get rescued. Overall, flood causes havoc and turns the livelihood of people to a standstill. Therefore, steps must be taken to control its consequences.
Ways to Prevent Flood
Establishing proper flood warning systems is a great way to lessen the impact. Meteorological departments must be well-equipped to create awareness at the right moment. This ensures people are warned ahead of time, and mass evacuation can be accomplished. Construction of tall buildings in flood zones is likely to save more lives.
The government must start implementing measures to store excess water. Construction of water storage units can be effective in reusing the extra water from heavy rains. It will prevent the overflow of water in the flood plains. Above all, a proper drainage system is necessary if we want to battle against the odds. If we avoid water logging, we can avoid pluvial floods.
Instead of invading river beds, we must let them take their natural path. This can significantly lower the effects of floods. A routine check on dam construction sites will ensure cheap materials are not being used. Dams made of higher quality will be stronger to hold the immense pressure of water and prevent flooding.
Throughout our ancient history, we have seen civilizations emerge around rivers and vanish with the rising waters. Growing industries and inefficient drainage facilities are responsible for the flooding. We might not be able to stop this natural disaster completely, but we have the potential to tame it. If necessary actions are implemented, life on earth will be protected from the wrath of nature.