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How does flooding affect the environment and the lives of people?

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Introduction

By: katherine smith What is Flooding? Floods occur naturally on many rivers, forming an area known as the flood plain. A flood occurs when there is a large increase in water levels. A flood that rises and falls quickly with little or no advance warning is called a flash flood. Flash floods usually result from heavy rainfall in a very short space of time in a relatively small area. What causes Flooding? There are many factors for why Floods happen, such as: - The Weather- Heavy rainfall or monsoon rains can leave the land saturated and land cannot absorb it. Typhoons and Hurricanes can create extremely powerful storm surges, high tides and Tsunamis. This causes costal flooding Deposition of silt- this means a rise in river bed levels, reducing channel capacity. Mountain and Ice caps- As temperatures change Snow caps start to melt and water levels rise. How does flooding affect the environment and the lives of people? * Physical damage- Structures and buildings get damaged due to floodwater and a chance of possible Landslides. Roads can be blocked off and bridges can be destroyed. * Casualties- People and livestock die due to drowning. It can also lead to epidemics and diseases. * Water supplies- Contamination of water making it unclean to drink (drinking may cause diseases such as Typhoid and Cholera etc..) Clean water may become unavailable * Crops and food supplies- Shortage of food crops can be caused due to loss of entire harvest and fish. ...read more.

Middle

7:45 am: Two floodwall sections on the east side of the Industrial Canal fall, releasing a wall of water into the lower 9th Ward, crashing down on homes and cars. The water also pours into Arabi and Chalmette. 8:30 am: In Lake Borgne water rises and easily tops over at St.Bernard's 7-foot to 9-foot 40 Arpent Canal levee, filling neighbourhoods from Poydras to Chalmette. North, a one-mile stretch of floodwall on the south side of Lakefront Airport is topped by surge from Lake Pontchartrain, adding to already severe flooding in eastern New Orleans. 9:00 am: The Surge rises to 10 feet in the London Avenue Canal, its levee's wall panels start bending, water leaks into yards. Roughly two miles west the water reaches an embankment at the foot of Orleans Avenue Canal. It is 6 feet lower than the floodwalls. Water tips over and rushes into the City Park. 9:30 am: 1-wall panels on the east side of London Avenue Canal fail, releasing a wall of water and sand into homes and expanding the flooding of Gentilly. 9:45 am: Several 17th street Canal levee wall panels fail, releasing a rush of water into Lakeview. Water from this eventually fills much of midtown New Orleans and parts of Metairie. On the north shore, Katrina made landfall near Slidell. A 15-foot storm surge at the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline reaches more than 5 miles inland at some points. ...read more.

Conclusion

* An increased surface run-off results in soil erosion and more silt being built up in river beds (Brahmaputra river bed rising) * A total of 70 per cent land area is less than 1m above sea level. Effects * Over 57 per cent of the land area was flooded. * In the north-east of Assam more than 1 million people lost their homes. * 240 villages were submerged in the Nalbari district. * More than 1000 people were killed and millions were made homeless. * There were severe shortages of drinking water. * Diseases such as bronchitis and diarrhoea spread. * The Floods damaged fields (crops), buried villages in sand and silt and wrecked roads and bridges. * The floods cost the country almost $1 billion worth in damages. Short Term Relief * Farmers were provided with free seed from the government * Foreign aid (including 21 million from the UK government) and food aid was given. * Water Purification tablets were brought by money raised by the WHO (World Health Organisation) Long Term Flood Protection Measures * Flood protection shelters built, which can provide shelter in times of floods. Although can be swept away by them also. * Flood embankments built along the river. (7 500km built since 1947) * Upstream dams suggested. These would hold back the flow at its peak, but the costs of construction are very high. * Reduce deforestation in main water areas. * Providing emergency flood warning systems to give warnings and organise rescue and relief services (emergency medical and food supplies). ...read more.

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