Essay on Flood
Enjoying our life at the regular pace that we usually do makes us mildly forgetful of the dangers that nature can cause anytime it wants. Although nature can be all beautiful and refreshing, it sometimes shows us the other side of the coin in the form of natural disasters. Disasters that are caused due to the effect of nature are known as natural disasters.
One of the natural disasters that happen again and again is Flood.
A flood results from heavy rainstorms, and much water accumulates in the residential area. A flood can occur as a result of the overflow of the water reserves due to the heavy rainstorms in the areas that have a poor drainage system. Inadequate maintenance of drainage can cause serious issues during the rainy season. Water, as we all know, is a non-renewable natural resource and should be preserved at all costs, but this resource that may look harmless can be disastrous when present in large quantities.
There are a lot of reasons why floods occur in the first place, starting with heavy rainfall or the overflowing of rivers and streams. Over the years, the occurrence of this disaster has been more regular and problematic, causing the same destruction every time or sometimes even more. This increase is the result of the climate change that has taken place in the last 2-3 decades. The reason for this irregular climate change is Deforestation which has caused the temperature of the earth's surface to increase drastically.
Climate change is the rooting cause of a lot of problems that occur on earth, be it small or big ones, and Flood is one of them. Climate change can occur due to global warming, which is the rise in the earth's temperature because of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. Atmospheric changes such as rising seas, heavy windstorms etc., lead to floods. A flood is nothing but a water leak or submergence on dry grounds when water flows out of its limits. Floods are economically and environmentally destructive. Although the destruction caused is not so little to be written shortly, but main destructions include sewage overflow, crop damage, less food and drinking water availability, destruction of houses etc.
Types of Floods
There is a lot of categorization for the type of floods, but to give an overview. There are mainly three types of floods.
1. Surge floods
These types of floods are the ones which are the result of storm surges, storm tides, tidal surges etc., that happen in the ocean or sea. They occur in coastal regions and are a type of coastal Flood. Coastal floods are floods that occur when the dry-land areas of the earth are submerged in seawater due to various causes. The storm surges and hurricanes that occur in the seawater or ocean lead to less or more dangerously spread floods.
In these types of floods, the strength and direction of the Flood are responsible for determining the impact and extent of the floods, which means that they determine the level to which the flood can or is causing destruction. Surge floods are the result of fluctuations in the sea or ocean and thus represent coastal floods. Other than surges, ocean or sea storms as well as hurricanes have the ability to cause moderate to dangerous floods. Floods are generally huge and very problematic, causing hindrance in the daily lives of people.
2. Pluvial Floods
In contrast to the common belief that one would be affected by a flood only when they are near a water body, pluvial floods can occur in any place, be it an urban area or a rural village. It occurs due to heavy rainfall and the overflowing of any water body due to excess water. Although these types of floods do not have too much water, they cause destruction on a very large scale. Infrastructure and the environment face a lot of destruction due to this Flood.
There are mainly two types of pluvial floods, namely-
i) Surface water floods:
They are the kind of floods that occur when the urban drainage system gives out, and the water inside overflows into the local areas such as streets and houses and hinders daily lifestyle. Although it doesn't cause much threat to life and it occurs gradually, giving time to the native people to move to safe locations, it still causes a lot of destruction to resources.
ii) Flash floods
They are the kind of floods that involve water spreading very quickly and with a very high velocity as a result of very quick but heavy rainfall. These types of floods can also be a result of a sudden release of a dam or water stored upwards. These floods happen very quickly and take a very less amount of time to spread across the area. Also, when we talk about destruction, these types of floods are very destructive, the reason being the hurtling debris which is swept up in the water flow a lot of times, the flow of water which is very high speed during flash floods. It causes environmental destruction on a larger scale than that surface water floods.
Just as discussed above, there are a number of reasons for the occurrence of floods, and some environmental factors are also considered responsible for the same. The overflow of the water present in the atmosphere from the present water bodies on earth can lead to heavy rainfall, which might lead to floods. Also, the boundaries that and introduced on the bank of the rivers, which have a high risk of flood, are often breached by the water flow, causing floods. Lakes can also cause floods if they are not regularly maintained and taken care of by people. Also, massive amounts of floods can cause a number of disasters like tsunamis and storms.
Causes of Floods
Although there are many causes of floods, most of them are natural. There are man-made factors as well which lead to floods. Flood cause huge damage to properties as well as the flora and fauna of an area. A lot of causes are discussed above, and here is a detailed explanation of a few.
1. Massive Rainfall
When we are listing down the causes of the flood then, rainfall comes at the top of the list. During the rainy season, good drainage systems and well-designed infrastructure help a lot in providing the right path to the rainwater, so it falls to the water reservoirs, and the water level is maintained. But, this arrangement fails in case of massive rainfall and this result in floods. Also, the areas that lack such advanced arrangements suffer more as they lack ways to cope with heavy rain and flood.
2. Overflowing of the Rivers and Storm Surges
Life risk is more for the people who have their homes near the banks of rivers and seas. An overflow of the river or any storm can lead to a lot of problems. As a solution to such problems, dams are constructed in order to hold the water, but that too, if not managed properly, can lead to floods along with massive destruction and life loss.
3. Collapsed Dams
As mentioned earlier, dams that are built to avoid the overflowing of rivers and generate energy can also lead to huge floods. During heavy rainfall, water already begins to gather around households when they are unable to hold more water. These dams collapse, and the situation of the flood gets even worse for the native citizens.
Due to various reasons like precipitation, high melting of snow takes place and it results in situations such as flood, etc. The solution to this problem might be planning strategic sustainable development measures that help in coping with situations of flood.
Floods are a result of deforestation, which is a major cause of not only flood but a number of other problems such as soil erosion. Deforestation refers to the continuous cutting of trees in order to fulfil industrial and personal needs. This cause of the flood is man-made and extremely destructive. Trees play a major role in binding the soil and protecting the crops, in addition to the enrichment of the flora as a result of a lot of trees. Trees make sure to block the flow of rainwater and prevent floods.
6. Climate Change
Climate change enhances the risk of floods in an area and is the result of the ill practices of humans. Practices like deforestation leads to an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide is not utilized due to the absence of trees. More carbon dioxide in the air traps more heat which also results in climate change. Climate change is a major cause of a lot of natural disasters that take place, including floods.
7. Greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is the process of trapping down the sun's heat, and it is done by gases like carbon dioxide, methane and so on. When greenhouse gases increase in the atmosphere, they lead to a lot of problems such as ozone layer depletion. This makes the emission of greenhouse gases a major cause of flood induced by human activities. The increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is due to human pursuits such as industrial activities, burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum etc.
No matter what type of flood it is, it no doubt destroys the ecosystem and habitat for plants and animals and has a detrimental effect on our environment. A lot of wild animals and plants lose their life to floods. The economy suffers a lot during the time of the floods. When the infrastructure and land of an area get destructed, that region's economy suffers a lot along with the citizens. The commercial development comes to a halt as the focus gets diverted to restoring the destroyed livelihood.
We all know that living in a flood-prone area, such as beside a river or so, can be risky, and thus people choose to migrate a lot to the urban areas resulting in cities being overcrowded. Along with all of this, it takes a lot of money, time and labour to rehabilitate the destroyed household, which leads to financial problems and limitations. Apart from the economic destruction, flood gives rise to a lot of water-borne diseases, which in turn cause health issues and cost human lives.
Even after knowing all these effects of the flood on our lives, it is very difficult to protect and save ourselves from naturally occurring floods. We can only apply some safety measures to minimise the problems it can cause. All these points lead to a simple conclusion, that is, floods are very destructive and should be controlled.